A veteran cartoonist has been fired from a newspaper in Iowa after criticizing agricultural giant Monsanto in a comic strip.
Rick Friday had worked at Farm News for over 20 years but lost his job when Monsanto officials saw the cartoon and decided to pull advertising from the local newspaper, resulting in the editor firing the artist.
His cartoon was published on April 29 and features two farmers in conversation, with depicted one in a state of financial limbo asking the other whether farming is profitable.
“In year 2015 the CEO’s of Monsanto, Dupont, Pioneer and John Deere combined made more money than 2129 Iowa Farmers,” responds the other farmer.
Friday was fired a day after the cartoon was published, say US Uncut, which have published an email from Friday’s supervisor at Farm News.
“Believe it or not, Farm News’ 20-plus years relationship with you is over. Today I was instructed... that we will no longer take a cartoon from you,” the email reads.
“The last one, Profit, has caused a shitstorm here that I do not understand,” continues the supervisor’s email.
“In the eyes of some Big Ag cannot be criticized or poked fun at. The cartoon resulted in one seed dealer canceling his advertising with Farm News.”
In a Facebook post, a frustrated Friday expressed concern over the incident.
“Altering someone’s opinion or someone’s voice for the purpose of wealth, I have a problem with that. It’s our constitutional right to free speech and our constitutional right to free press,” Friday remarked.
"Hopefully my children and my grandchildren will see that this last cartoon published by Farm News out of Fort Dodge, Iowa, will shine light on how fragile our rights to free speech and free press really are in the country.”
“I did my research and only submitted the facts in my cartoon,” he added.
Read part of the Facebook post below.