UPDATE AT 12:10 P.M. EASTERN ON TUESDAY: More newspapers have now banned the cartoonist.
Numerous newspapers across the nation are dropping a popular comic strip from daily publication after its creator decided to sneak in an expletive in reference to President Trump.
According to the Dallas Morning News, Wiley Miller, who has been drawing the Non Sequitur for 27 years, decided recently to use an F-bomb to make a politic statement against Trump in one of his daily comic strips. That particular strip got published around the nation last weekend.
“We fondly say go [expletive] yourself Trump,” a handwritten message read in the bottom right corner.
After someone noticed the message and posted a photo of it online, the comic strip went viral.
By Monday, the Dallas Morning News, the Butler Eagle, and the Columbus Dispatch, as well as several other papers, had announced that they will no longer run the award-winning syndicated cartoonists comics. By Tuesday, at least a dozen papers had made that decision, according to the Washington Post.
"We apologize that such a disgusting trick was perpetuated on the reading public. The Butler Eagle will discontinue that comic immediately," said the newspaper’s publisher Ron Vodenichar.
Dallas Morning News editor Mike Wilson wrote, "We don't mind political commentary in comics, as long as we have a chance to vet it and it meets our standards for publication. Unfortunately, this time the artist decided to go around his editors and even his own syndicate to publish something he must have known we wouldn't accept. We can't trust him, so we are done with Non Sequitur."
He added that it was one of "the easier editing decisions we will make all year. We'll have no trouble finding a better way to spend the $8,000 we would've paid for that strip."
Miller himself even appeared to encourage readers to find the hidden message in a link to the offensive comic strip (Note: GoComics.com replaced it) that he tweeted on Sunday:
Yet Miller also insisted he never intended for the expletive to be published. Newspaper comic strips are typically drawn weeks or even months before they appear in print.
"I now remember that I was particularly aggravated that day about something the president had done or said, and so I lashed out in a rather sophomoric manner as instant therapy," he said.
He continued, “It was NOT intended for public consumption, and I meant to white it out before submitting it, but forgot to. Had I intended to make a statement to be understood by the readers, I would have done so in a more subtle, sophisticated manner."
Miller promised to never do it again.
It’s evident from the cartoonists’ Twitter feed that he frequently becomes aggravated with the president. His Twitter account is filled with insults directed at Trump and his supporters, and dropping an F-bomb at the president is nothing new.