Newspapers in Ohio and Texas has released the nationally syndicated ones cartoon Dilbert after its creator designated black people as a “hate group”, appeared to favor segregation and made other racist comments on his online show.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer and San Antonio Express News both announced that the newspapers would immediately stop publishing the cartoon following comments this week by Scott Adams, 65. The cartoonist’s Dilbert began syndication in 1989 and has been popular worldwide for decades.

Adams, meanwhile, fanned the flames, tweeting on Saturday: “Is it racist to shun racists who are of the same race as each other? Or is it only racist if the racists you shun are white?”

Elon Musk replied: “At the same time, an interesting question and a tongue twister!”

Adams, whose cartoon created a reputation for sarcasm about white-collar life in America, has recently become more famous for controversial statements. He had expressed admiration for the president Donald Trump while suggesting that after a Biden victory there was a “good chance” Republicans would be hunted down and killed.

On Coffee with Scott Adams this week he said that “based on the way things are going now, the best advice I would give to white people is to get away from black people. Just get away. Wherever you’re going, just get away. Because this can’t be fixed. this can’t be fixed.”

Cleveland Plain Dealer Editor Chris Quinn, in a letter to readers, described Adams’ online comments as “mostly hateful and racist” and said it was “not a difficult decision” to release the cartoon.

“It is a staggering array of statements, all but some of which will result in the loss of his livelihood,” the editor wrote. “I hate to quote him at all, but I do so to discourage responses that this is a ‘cancel culture’ decision.

“No, this is a decision based on the principles of this news organization and the community we serve. We are not a home for those who hang around racism. We absolutely do not want to give them financial support.”

In Texas, editor and publisher of Express News rejected the cartoonist’s “hateful and discriminatory public comments.”

“These statements are offensive to our core values,” they wrote. “Releasing a comic from our pages is not censorship. Adams is entitled to his opinions. The Express News is not obliged to give him a platform and financial support.

“Since the serial is published in advance, we cannot withdraw it from our pages immediately. Readers will find it in their Saturday and Sunday papers. But as of Monday, ‘Dilbert’ will no longer appear in Express News.”

Dilbert’s storylines had also had anti-woke themes of late, and the cartoon had already been released in September from 77 magazines by publisher Lee Enterprises.