Newspaper cartoonist 'fired' after controversial drawing of Donald Trump goes viral

A cartoonist in Canada says he was effectively fired after producing a controversial cartoon of US president Donald Trump which has been described as both “in poor taste” and “heartbreakingly accurate”.

The cartoon was never published in a newspaper but has since gone viral after the artist reportedly had his contract terminated for his efforts.

It depicts Donald Trump playing golf as he comes across the bodies of a Mexican man and his 23-month-old daughter, after they died trying to cross the US border in images that were beamed around the world last week.

“Do you mind if I play through?” Trump can be seen asking the lifeless bodies in the cartoon.

The cartoonist, Michael de Adder, had been under contract with Canadian newspaper publishing company, Brunswick News Inc. for the past 17 years. However after posting the image online, he has since had his contract terminated.

Mr de Adder announced his firing on Twitter late last week. "The highs and lows of cartooning," he wrote. "Today I was just let go from all newspapers in New Brunswick."

The image quickly spread online with many on social media expressing outrage that the cartoonist had seemingly lost his job.

“This cartoon brilliantly captures the cruel indifference Trump continually demonstrates towards migrants desperately seeking asylum,” one person wrote.

Others, however, felt the cartoon went too far and painted the US president as extremely callous.

The cartoonist - who has found himself at the centre of a media firestorm in North America - says he will be fine and has other freelance work to fall back on.

In a touching message overnight, he said the hardest part is the fact that his mother with dementia will no longer be able to see his cartoons in the paper anymore as part of her daily routine.

Firing is ‘a false narrative’ publisher says

In a statement on Sunday, Brunswick News said it was “entirely incorrect” to state that Mr de Adder had his contract ended due to the cartoon.

"This is a false narrative which has emerged carelessly and recklessly on social media," the company said. "In fact, BNI was not even offered this cartoon by Mr de Adder.”

However the president of the Association of Canadian Cartoonists, Wes Tyrell, says Donald Trump is a taboo subject at the Canadian newspaper company and believes the timing is too coincidental as the artists had contributed work to the publisher for 17 years.

"Although he has stated there was no reason given for his firing, the timing was no coincidence," Mr Tyrell said in a lengthy statement on Facebook.

He said Mr deAdder had previously told him that Donald Trump was seen as a taboo subject at the publishing company, because of the owner’s strong business interests in the US.

"Michael de Adder has drawn many well-documented cartoons on Trump, they have however, systematically never been seen in the (Brunswick News) papers."

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