The creator of the Dilbert comic strip faced cancellations Saturday when he defended comments describing black people as members of «a hate group» that white people should «stay away from.»

Several US media publishers denounced Dilbert creator Scott Adams’ comments as racist, hateful and discriminatory and said they would no longer provide a platform for his work.

Andrews McMeel Syndication, which distributes Dilbert, did not immediately respond to requests for comment Saturday. But Adams has defended himself on social media against those he told «hate me and are canceling me.»

Dilbert is a long-running comic that pokes fun at office space culture.

The backlash began after an episode last week of the YouTube show, «Real Coffee with Scott Adams.» Among other topics, Adams referenced a Rasmussen Reports poll that asked if people agreed with the statement «It’s okay to be white.»

Most agreed, but Adams noted that 26% of black respondents disagreed and others were unsure.

The Anti-Defamation League says the phrase was popularized in 2017 as a trolling campaign by members of the 4chan discussion forum, but later began to be used by some white supremacists.

Adams, who is white, repeatedly referred to black people as members of a «hate group» or a «racist hate group» and said he would no longer «help black Americans.»

“The way things are going right now, the best advice I would give white people is to stay away from black people,” Adams said on his Wednesday show.

In another episode of his online show on Saturday, Adams said he had been insisting that «everyone should be treated as an individual» without discrimination.

«But you should also avoid any group that doesn’t respect you, even if there are people within the group that are okay,» Adams said.

los angeles times cited Adams’ «racist comments» in announcing Saturday that Dilbert will be discontinued on Monday in most issues and that its final run in Sunday comics, which are printed ahead of time, will be on March 12.

The San Antonio Express-Newswhich is part of Hearst Newspapers, said Saturday that it will stop publishing the Dilbert comic strip, effective Monday, «due to hateful and discriminatory public comments by its creator.»

USA Today Network tweeted Friday that it will also stop publishing Dilbert «due to recent discriminatory comments by his creator.»

The Plain Dealer in Cleveland and other publications that are part of the Advance Local media also announced that they will remove Dilbert.

“This is a decision based on the principles of this news organization and the community we serve,” wrote Chris Quinn, editor of The Plain Dealer. ‘“We are not a home for those who espouse racism. We certainly don’t want to give them financial support.»

Christopher Kelly, Vice President of Content at NJ Advanced MediaHe wrote that the news organization believes in «the free and fair exchange of ideas.»

“But when those ideas intersect with hate speech, a line must be drawn,” Kelly wrote.