The cartoonist picked to replace Michael de Adder at Brunswick News Inc. has decided not to work for the company.
Greg Perry was hired to replace de Adder, who had his contract terminated after his depiction of U.S. President Donald Trump and the border crisis went viral.
Perry said he’s changed his mind about working for the publisher that owns several New Brunswick newspapers, after social media backlash.
“All this over a job that pays the same per month as a job at a grocery chain,” he said in a statement to CBC News. “I wouldn’t wish this on anyone.”
Brunswick News called Perry a “reader favourite” in a statement about the end of de Adder’s contract, and said the decision to bring in the Vancouver-based cartoonist was made weeks ago.
Perry confirmed this to the CBC, but said he felt uncomfortable being described that way.
“I’m shook up about it because I didn’t intend to become the focal point of a social media frenzy. There was no ill to anybody, as far as from my side.”
Brunswick News put out a statement shortly after Perry stepped away from the position.
The company offered him their full support but said he was “unfairly maligned by the false narrative which recklessly erupted on social media in recent days.”
The publishing company has doubled-down on the Trump cartoon not being the reason for de Adder’s contract termination. Their initial statement cited bringing back Perry as a reason for letting de Adder go.
Perry told CBC that the proposal from Brunswick News was not set up as replacing the outgoing cartoonist.
De Adder took to Twitter on Monday to tell his side of the story. He had worked 17 years with Brunswick News, which is privately owned by one of Canada’s richest families, the Irvings.
Brunswick News has a monopoly over nearly all of the newspapers in New Brunswick and has been slammed for not being critical of parent owner Irving Group of Companies and its subsidiaries.
The companies — which include oil and gas, shipping and transportation — are worth an estimated $10 billion.
De Adder said it wasn’t just Trump that was a taboo subject for him to approach. When he drew cartoons slightly critical of the New Brunswick premier, who is a former Irving executive, de Adder claimed they were “systematically axed.”
De Adder, who lives in Halifax, has been picked up as a regular cartoonist for the Toronto Star, where Perry’s work is also published.