Replacement cartoonist in Canada rejects job offer after controversy

Greg Perry: 'I wouldn't wish this on anyone'

By Madeline Holcombe, CNN
Michael de Adder/TCH via CNN

Michael de Adder's illustration depicted Trump playing golf over the bodies of two drowned migrants.

(CNN) - The replacement for the cartoonist who said he was fired from Brunswick News Inc. newspapers for a political cartoon of President Donald Trump says the controversy has made him not want the job, according to CNN news partner CBC.

Cartoonist Greg Perry has told the Canadian newspaper publishing company that he no longer wants the job and wants his cartoons kept off the editorial pages, citing the social media backlash that quickly descended when the company ended 17-year veteran Michael de Adder's contract, according to CBC.

"I don't use social media, but person/persons who do have used it to essentially destroy my character and my cartoon work," Perry said in a statement to the outlet. "All this over a job that pays the same per month as a job at a grocery chain. I wouldn't wish this on anyone."

The publishing company offered its support of Perry as he relinquished the freelance position.

"He is a talented cartoonist who has been unfairly maligned by the false narrative which recklessly erupted on social media in recent days," the company said in a statement.

The online frenzy was stirred when de Adder was let go last week -- two days after he tweeted a cartoon of President Trump playing golf over the bodies of two migrants who died crossing the Rio Grande River into the US, CBC reported.

Wes Tyrell, president of the Association of Canadian Cartoonists, and de Adder accuse the publishing company of firing him to avoid criticism from Trump and protect the US energy interests of Irving Oil, another subsidiary of it's parent company Irving Group of Companies.

"For a brief period, de Adder was the poster boy for the anti-Trump movement — a good place to be if you're a cartoonist, but a bad place to be if you work for a foreign oil company with business ties to the United States," Tyrell wrote in a statement on Facebook.

"The way I was let go was swift and fell on the heels of the last refugee cartoon," de Adder told CNN Monday. "I had every reason to suspect it was over that cartoon. ... I was given no reason. I inquired and inquired."

But BNI claims that de Adder's replacement was decided long before he tweeted the cartoon in question, calling Perry a "reader favourite," according to CBC.

Perry confirmed to the news outlet that BNI made him an offer weeks before the release of the cartoon and that de Adder wasn't the focus of hiring conversations, CBC reported.

Perry provided cartoons to the publisher before declining the offer, which they have published, according to CBC. He has not drawn for them since.

CNN's Shannon Liao and Rebekah Reiss contributed to this report.

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