Cartoonist Fired Over Illustration of Trump and Drowned Migrants

Published July 1st, 2019 - 01:00 GMT


A Canadian cartoonist had his contract terminated with four newspapers owned by the same Canadian publishing company two days after his cartoon of the US president went viral on the internet.


Michael de Adder went to Twitter on Friday to reveal that he was “let go” from all the newspapers owned by Brunswick News; the Moncton Times-Transcript, Fredericton Daily Gleaner, Telegraph-Journal and Telegraph Journal Saint John in New Brunswick, Canada.

This came only two days after de Adder published a cartoon that depicts a viral photo of the drowning of Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez and his 23-month-old daughter, Valeria, in the Rio Grande River as they tried to cross the Mexico-US border highlighting the US border crisis.

In the cartoon, Trump appears standing above the two bodies asking them “Do you mind if I play through?”

The prominent cartoonist who has been drawing professionally for almost two decades has sparked controversy after he tweeted the publishing company’s decision to terminate his contract.

Some had related the Brunswick News’ decision to the fact that the publishing company is owned by the Irving family, one of the richest families in Canada who has massive oil and gas, shipping and transportation investments with business ties to the US.

The newspapers in their defense had gone to the media to describe the reports relating their decision to cancel their freelance contract with Michael de Adder to Trump’s cartoon as a “false narrative." According to the statement, the contract was canceled in order for the newspaper to bring in another cartoonist. 

Yet, social media users found it hard that the timing was a coincidence.

A photograph was taken last week showed Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez, 26, and his 23-month-old daughter Valeria lying face down in shallow water after dying in the Rio Grande, the river that divides Mexico from Texas.

The photo has caught the attention of the world as it highlights the US border crisis under Trumps administration.

Many had compared it with the 2015 image of three-year-old Syrian boy Aylan Kurdi, who was found drowned on a Greek island shores after being en route there with other refugees fleeing conflict.

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