A Canadian artist went viral on social media last week after drawing an illustration of President Donald Trump playing golf next to the bodies of two drowned migrants.
Cartoonist Michael de Adder worked for publishing company Brunswick News Inc in New Brunswick, east Canada. However the company has now terminated his contract after the illustration was widely circulated online.
The cartoon, which was posted to Michael’s Twitter on June 26, shows Trump standing on a golf cart while looking down at the bodies of a father and daughter who drowned while attempting to cross the Rio Grande from Mexico into Texas.
— Michael de Adder (@deAdder) June 26, 2019
It shows Trump saying, ‘Do you mind if I play through?’
The harrowing drawing was based on the heartbreaking photo of Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez, 25, and his 23-month-old daughter, Angie Valeria, who were found dead lying face down in the shores of the Rio Grande.
Michael later took to Twitter to announce his departure from Brunswick News, said ‘the highs and lows of cartooning. Today I was just let go from all newspapers in New Brunswick.’
— Michael de Adder (@deAdder) June 28, 2019
However, the company released a statement on Sunday (June 30) insisting it’s ‘entirely incorrect’ to assume the company cancelled its freelance contract with Michael over the cartoon.
In a statement, Brunswick News Inc. said:
This is a false narrative which has emerged carelessly and recklessly on social media.
In fact, BNI was not even offered this cartoon by Mr. de Adder. The decision to bring back reader favourite Greg Perry was made long before this cartoon, and negotiations had been ongoing for weeks.
Michael was quick to tell his Twitter followers he was ‘not a victim’, adding the termination of his contract was ‘a setback, not a deathblow.’
He wrote: ‘I just need to recoup a percentage of my weekly income and get used to the idea I no longer have a voice in my home province.’
The president of the Canadian Cartoonists, Wes Tyrell, claimed Michael was fired after 17 years with Brunswick News Inc. because Donald Trump was a ‘taboo subject’ for the newspaper company, MailOnline reports.
Writing on Facebook, he said:
Although he has stated there was no reason given for his firing, the timing was no coincidence.
Michael de Adder has drawn many well-documented cartoons on Trump, they have however, systematically never been seen in the New Brunswick papers.
De Adder’s Trump cartoons didn’t appear in the newspaper but they were viewed all across social media. His cartoon of June 26 couldn’t be ignored. The trope of political figures golfing and showing disdain for issues has been seen before, but de Adder’s take hit a nerve.
It went viral and social media stars like George Takei even shared it. For a brief period de Adder was the poster boy for the Anti-Trump movement. A good place to be if you’re a cartoonist, but a bad place to be if you work for a foreign oil company with business ties to the United States.
If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining the LADbible Group team in 2017.