Censored Cartoon Restored After CBLDF Takes Action
A coalition including the Comic Book legal Defense Fund and its partners was successful at getting Redbubble, an online marketplace, to reinstate a cartoon by Pulitzer Prize–winning cartoonist Nick Andersen that was removed due to a meritless complaint.
Redbubble removed the cartoon, which satirizes President Trump, on May 18 after the Trump reelection campaign issued an erroneous complaint. The cartoon was restored by Redbubble on May 27 after the CBLDF and its partners challenged the actions of Redbubble and their charges of censorship went viral attracting additional protest.
In a prepared statement, Anderson thanked the CBLDF, noting that “It was only after the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund intervened on my behalf that Redbubble reversed their decision.” Anderson said “I am pleased that Redbubble reversed their decision. I applaud them for this and for recognizing that it was an error.”
But Anderson also said the incident raised “troubling issues” noting that the removal “happened to me so quickly, it likely has happened to others. How much other content has been removed this way on Redbubble and other sites?”
CBLDF was joined by Association of American Editorial Cartoonists, American Library Association, Office For Intellectual Freedom, Authors Guild, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Freedom to Read Foundation, National Coalition Against Censorship, and PEN America in the letter urging Redbubble to restore Mr. Anderson’s work.
CBLDF Executive Director Charles Brownstein said the organization are “alarmed” to see the President’s campaign attempting to suppress protected speech.
“Our letter articulates the case law in clear terms to help prevent future censorship of this nature,” Brownstein said. “We’re pleased that Redbubble has done the right thing in this case. We hope that they will continue to assert the First Amendment rights they and their sellers are guaranteed by rejecting any similar censorship attempts.”