Rick Friday, a 56-year-old veteran cartoonist, lost his job because of a complaint from a major company over one of his cartoons. In the cartoon, two farmers chat about farming profits, revealing that in 2015, the CEOs of Monsanto, DuPont Pioneer, and John Deere earned more than 2,129 Iowa farmers combined.
After the cartoon’s publication, an email from an editor informed Friday that it would be his last for Farm News. A seed company had withdrawn its advertising in protest, finding the cartoon offensive.
Friday, a self-taught artist who developed his skills as a child on his family’s farm, expressed his disappointment on Facebook. He lamented how corporate interests had overshadowed his commitment to free speech and free press. After 21 years and over 1,090 published cartoons, his tenure at Farm News had abruptly ended, shedding light on the fragility of these fundamental rights in our country.