Canadian cartoonist Michael de Adder fired after his anti-Trump artwork goes viral

The cartoonist has been fired over his drawing.
The cartoonist has been fired over his drawing. Photo credit: Twitter/Michael de Adder

A cartoonist has been fired from a Canadian publishing company after a drawing depicting US President Donald Trump standing over the dead bodies of migrants went viral.

Canadian artist Michael de Adder depicted the viral photo of drowned Mexican migrants Oscar Alberto Martinez Ramirez, 25, and his 23-month-old daughter, Angie Valeria. The tragic image captured the father and daughter's death crossing the Rio Grande into Texas. 

Trump is drawn standing next to a golf cart and clutching a golf club, with the adjacent caption, "Do you mind if I play through?"

De Adder posted the cartoon to his Twitter account on Thursday, with the hashtags 'BorderCrisis' and 'TrumpConcentrationCamps'.

But after his artwork went viral, de Adder took to Twitter to announce he had been "let go from all newspapers in New Brunswick".

Brunswick News Inc., however, responded to de Adder's claim in a statement on Sunday, saying they had not cancelled their freelance contract with de Adder simply because of the cartoon. They called his claim a "false narrative".

"BNI was not even offered this cartoon by Mr de Adder," the statement says. "The decision to bring back reader favourite Greg Perry was made long before this cartoon."

Brunswick News, which is privately owned by Canadian billionaire James K. Irving, was de Adder's employer for 17 years. Although de Adder is still able to work for publications outside his "home province", he expressed sadness at being unable to draw for his local outlets.

"I need to... get used to the idea I no longer have a voice in my home province," he wrote.

President of the Association of Canadian Cartoonists, Wes Tyrell, wrote on Facebook that de Adder was allegedly fired from Brunswick News over a "taboo subject he could not touch".

Tyrell wrote that de Adder had drawn a number of Trump cartoons, which the company likely overlooked - however, the viral nature of his latest piece was something the publishers could not turn a blind eye to.

"It got to the point where I didn't submit any Donald Trump cartoons for fear that I might be fired," de Adder wrote in a string of tweets posted on Monday. He claims every Trump cartoon he submitted over the past year was "axed".

"In the past 2 weeks I drew 3 Trump cartoons. 2 went viral and the third went supernova and a day later I was let go," de Adder wrote.

"Not only let go, the cartoons they already had in the can were not used. Overnight it was like I never worked for the paper. Make your own conclusions."

Despite being a Canadian company, Brunswick News has corporate ties with the United States - which Tyrell claims may have influenced their decision to fire the cartoonist.

In his Twitter explanation, de Adder says he doesn't want to "get into a fight" publicly with his employer, but will defend himself.

"I don't know how it happened, but I feel my credibility is on the line.

"And all I did was lose my job."