(AP) Two New Mexico newspapers won’t be running an upcoming installment of the caveman comic strip “B.C.” because it makes a potentially insensitive pun on a Chinese name, the newspapers’ publisher said.
The Jan. 19 strip — by artist Johnny Hart– depicts two cavemen discussing unseen Asian brothers who fail in their attempt to build a working airplane. The punchline: “Two Wongs don’t make a Wright.”
Ray Sullivan, publisher of the Clovis News Journal and the Portales News-Tribune, said his test for publishing the strip was whether the message could be communicated “without insulting the person you are making fun of.”
“I understand trying to make a play on words, but it’s just stupid,” Sullivan said Thursday. “I don’t think this would go over well in Chinatown.”
He said both newspapers will run substitutes instead of the Jan. 19 strip.
Rick Newcombe, president of Los Angeles-based Creators Syndicate, said he was unaware of any other subscribers to “B.C.” opting not to publish that particular strip.
“That happens a fair amount, especially as people are getting more sensitive,” he said.
When called for comment by The Associated Press on Thursday, representatives of the Los Angeles chapter of the Organization for Chinese Americans asked to see a copy of the cartoon before commenting. Newcombe refused to provide the strip.
A message left for the only John Hart in the phone listings in the comic artist’s home town of Endicott, N.Y., was not immediately returned.