'N' Word Causes Papers to Drop Two 'Boondocks' Comic Strips

By: Dave Astor The Miami Herald will be among the newspapers dropping "The Boondocks" tomorrow and Saturday because of the comic's implied use of the "n" word.

"It's our view that the strips and the language in the strips would be offensive to at least a portion of our readership and perhaps a significant portion of our readership," Tom Fiedler, the Herald's executive editor, told E&P today. One factor that entered into the decision, he added, is that some readers may not know that "The Boondocks" creator Aaron McGruder is black. So, Fiedler said, some readers may think a white cartoonist is using the racially insensitive word.

E&P hasn't seen the strips, but McGruder reportedly implies the word by using some letters along with some asterisks.

The Herald will run substitute installments of "The Boondocks." Universal Press Syndicate said subs were also requested by The Boston Globe for both days and by the Austin (Texas) American-Statesman for Friday. Other clients might still also request substitutes by the end of today, added the syndicate, which distributes "The Boondocks" to about 300 papers.

Fiedler said the Herald's decision had "nothing to do" with the politics of the two strips in particular, or "The Boondocks" as a feature. "I think the comic is often amusing in an ironic way," he said. "It can be clever, and it has political insight. In general, I believe it's valuable to have it in our selection of comics."


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