Dan Murphy, a Canadian newspaper cartoonist has accused the paper’s parent company, Postmedia News of censorship after his animation was removed from the paper’s website.
Murphy, who works for The Vancouver Province says that the paper removed a satirical cartoon it was threatened by oil and gas giant Enbridge.
The original Enbridge advertisement was designed to promote its controversial pipeline project across the provinces of British Columbia and Alberta. Murphy’s satirical cartoon mocked Enbridge, splattering oil across their proposed “path to prosperity”.
Murphy told CBC News that he was called into the office of The Province’s Editor-in-Chief, Wayne Moriarty, who told him that the chief revenue and digital officer at Postmedia was upset about the spoof, that Enbridge would pull $1m worth of advertising out of Postmedia and that Moriarty would be fired if the video was not removed.
Moriarty has since claimed that the video was removed for copyright reasons.
Todd Nogier, Senior Communications Strategist at Enbridge said in a statement, “Enbridge Inc. did not request the Province or Post Media pull the video […] Enbridge has not discontinued this campaign, nor its investments as part of that campaign, nor did Enbridge threaten to discontinue those investments.”
However, in a subsequent phone conversation, an Enbridge spokesperson said, the company “had a conversation with Postmedia and they apologised for the parody [… ] any further conversation would be inappropriate”.
Murphy said speaking out has been the toughest decision he’s faced in his 25-year career at the paper.
“I could lose my job over this. The company could interpret this as being disloyal. I would argue that it is the opposite.”