Sunday, February 17, 2019

Los Angeles Times Cancels 'Non Sequitur' Comic Over Obscenity


As the LA Times' comic section has been condensed over the years, the paper has been left with just a handful of strips — most of them legacy, and rather unexciting. One of the few comics with any sort of edge, "Non Sequitur," has now been axed as well — over an subtly obscured obscenity that made it into print.

See above: In the one frame, scribbles appear to read, "We fondly say go f**k yourself to Trump.” Alas, that was too much for many newspapers — including the L.A. Times, which wrote in an editor's note:

In the Feb. 10 comics section, the “Non Sequitur” cartoon by Wiley Miller contained a vulgar message that was hidden in an illustration.

Andrews McMeel Syndication, which distributes the cartoon, apologized Monday for missing the offensive wording in its editing process. “If we had discovered it, we would not have distributed the cartoon without it being removed,” the statement said. “We apologize to Non Sequitur’s clients and readers for our oversight.”

Miller, in a statement, said he had prepared the cartoon with the vulgar message several weeks ago, intended to remove the message before the cartoon was distributed but neglected to do so. However, in a Twitter post Sunday, the cartoonist wrote: “Some of my sharp-eyed readers have spotted a little Easter egg from Leonardo Bear-Vinci. Can you find it?”

The Los Angeles Times considers this a breach of trust with our readers and will halt publication of the “Non Sequitur” cartoon. The Times' comic pages are prepared in advance, so readers may see “Non Sequitur” cartoons for several more Sundays.

Other newspapers that have dropped the strip include the Chicago Tribune, which wrote an identical editor's note, with just the newspaper's name changed (and signed by Tribune editor Bruce Dold). Strangely, the Trib's statement even ran on the LAT's site — a legacy, I assume of the papers' former co-ownership.

Other papers dropping the strip include the San Diego Union-Tribune, and reaction from readers was very mixed.

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