Canadian media company Brunswick News Inc. ended its contract with freelance cartoonist Michael de Adder over the weekend after his drawing of President Donald Trump and the Salvadoran migrant family that drowned near the southern border went viral.
Last week, de Adder tweeted his cartoon depicting Trump reacting indifferently to the bodies of Alberto Martínez Ramírez and 23-month-old Valeria, a family of asylum-seekers who both died while attempting to cross the Rio Grande.
— Michael de Adder (@deAdder) June 26, 2019
Two days later, the cartoonist announced that his drawings would no longer appear in local New Brunswick outlets, including the Times & Transcript, the Daily Gleaner, and the Telegraph-Journal.
“I’m not the type of person who’s going to make a career out of being fired,” de Adder tweeted. “I’m still successfully drawing cartoons for other publications. 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.”
“Does it matter if I was fired over one Donald Trump cartoon when every Donald Trump cartoon I submitted in the past year was axed?” the cartoonist pondered on Monday. “It got to the point where I didn’t submit any Donald Trump cartoons for fear that I might be fired.”
Brunswick News Inc., the media company that owns those three outlets, denied on Sunday that it had ended its contract with de Adder over the cartoon.
“It is entirely incorrect to suggest Brunswick News Inc. cancelled its freelance contract with cartoonist Michael de Adder due to a cartoon depicting Donald Trump currently circulating on social media,” the company said in a statement. “This is a false narrative which has emerged carelessly and recklessly on social media.”
De Adder posted the cartoon on the same day reporters confronted Trump with the infamous photo. Although the man and his young daughter had died after spending months in a detention center in Mexico waiting for the U.S. government’s response to their asylum request (a result of Trump’s new asylum policy), the President blamed their deaths on “open borders” and Democrats for allowing “loopholes” in the immigration system.
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