Weird Dilbert Guy Claims 'Dilbert' TV Show Got Canceled Because He's White
On Sunday night, Scott Adams, the creator of "Dilbert" and a total dillhole himself, announced on Twitter that he had been fired not once, not twice, but three times in his life for being a white man — one of those times being the time UPN canceled "Dilbert" the animated series we all forgot ever existed.
@ahmedbest I lost my TV show for being white when UPN decided it would focus on an African-American audience. That… https://t.co/LS5lcl0nm0— Scott Adams (@Scott Adams)1593393715.0
Curiously, that is not what Adams said in a 2006 interview with Ground Report.
It was on UPN, a network that few people watch. And because of some management screw-ups between the first and second seasons the time slot kept changing and we lost our viewers. We were also scheduled to follow the worst TV show ever made: Shasta McNasty. On TV, your viewership is 75% determined by how many people watched the show before yours. That killed us.
Seeing as "Shasta McNasty" was a show about a rap-rock band starring Gary Busey's son, that seems plausible. A lot more plausible, frankly, than "Dilbert" getting canceled because Scott Adams was white. I won't discount that perhaps he was told that, by someone, to spare his feelings, but as an actual fact? Seems dubious!
Particularly since after "Dilbert" was canceled, UPN picked up both "Buffy The Vampire Slayer" and "Roswell," both of which were very white shows. I love "Buffy," but how many seasons did it take to get a regular character (Principal Robin Wood) on there who wasn't white? I mean, they killed off poor Kendra the Vampire Slayer after what? Three episodes? Where on earth poor Kendra was from that she had that Irish-Jamaican accent remains a mystery to this very day.
But I digress.
I watched the first episode of this show, for research purposes, and I gotta tell you, it was not good. It was cringey. Not because it was particularly outdated or "not PC," but because the jokes were just painfully overwrought and not funny. Am I saying this because I do not like Scott Adams as a person and was invested in it being terrible? No, because I also knew that the voice of Alice, a lady at Dilbert's office, is done by Kathy Griffin, whom I like and want good things for. Also, Dilbert and Dogbert were played, respectively, by Daniel Stern and Chris Elliott, which I think is a very bold and fascinating choice, what with them being the same guy and all. According to Wikipedia, Andy Dick, who is also that same guy, had a guest appearance. I am not mad at that.
It just wasn't good. The gist of the episode was that the company where Dilbert works had to come up with a new product, and his boss, who is stupid, wants them to come up with the name of the product first and then figure out what it does later. For some reason, this falls on Dilbert rather than any of the marketing people, who are too busy banging?
If all of the episodes of this series were that excruciating, it's not hard to see why it was canceled.
Additionally, it ran for two seasons. You know what else ran for only two seasons? "The Critic." I know. It seems like there were more seasons, on account of how it was rerun forever on Comedy Central and elsewhere, but there were only two. There were fewer episodes, total, than there were "Dilbert" episodes. "The Critic," however, is still a cult classic, because of how it was actually funny.
In the comments on that tweet, there are myriad white men complaining that they, too, were fired or not hired for being white men, and that they were told as much by bosses who clearly did not care that saying this directly would open them up to a lawsuit. Amazing! And yet, I bet if you asked all of those poor, put upon, discriminated-against white men if they thought at-will employment should be replaced with just cause terminations, so that people could only be fired for doing a bad job, they would think that was a terrible idea.
In reality, it turns out, the belief among white men that they are better at things but are unfairly losing out to minorities is deeply unfounded. Including in Dilbert's specialty, engineering. The fact is, women are outperforming men in school, particularly in STEM fields, and companies are hiring less-qualified men in order to have some amount of gender balance. Whoops.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse