PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Pittsburgh Post-Gazette editorial cartoonist Rob Rogers says he has been fired.
Rogers tweeted the news Thursday afternoon, saying, “Today, after 25 years as the editorial cartoonist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, I was fired.”
Sad to report this update: Today, after 25 years as the editorial cartoonist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, I was fired.
— Rob Rogers (@Rob_Rogers) June 14, 2018
Rogers’ cartoons haven’t been published in the newspaper since late May.
The award-winning cartoonist said the Post-Gazette publisher wanted more conservative, pro-Trump cartoons. He told KDKA political editor Jon Delano last week nineteen of his ideas and cartoons have been rejected since March.
Earlier this week, Rogers said he had been taking personal days off “until [his] employment status at the paper is resolved.”
Rogers said he was willing to cooperate with the publisher “to a degree,” but he wouldn’t draw cartoons he disagreed with.
Mayor Bill Peduto released the following statement in response to Rogers’ firing:
“The move today by the leadership of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette to fire Rob Rogers after he drew a series of cartoons critical of President Trump is disappointing, and sends the wrong message about press freedoms in a time when they are under siege.
This is precisely the time when the constitutionally-protected free press – including critics like Rob Rogers – should be celebrated and supported, and not fired for doing their jobs. This decision, just one day after the President of the United States said the news media is ‘Our Country’s biggest enemy,’ sets a low standard in the 232-year history of the newspaper.
I’ve known Rob a long time. That has never stopped him from publishing cartoons that are critical of me, of my policy positions, or of my actions (or inactions) in office. He’s even made fun of my weight. But he is one of the best in the world at his time-honored craft, and I know people of all political persuasions stand with me in support of him, even if the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette regrettably does not.”
The Post-Gazette has not yet released an official statement.