Jake Rossen interviewed Bill Watterson for Mental Floss magazine:
Just to be clear, I did not have incredible autonomy until afterward. I had signed most of my rights away in order to get syndicated, so I had no control over what happened to my own work, and I had no legal position to argue anything. I could not take the strip with me if I quit, or even prevent the syndicate from replacing me, so I was truly scared I was going to lose everything I cared about either way. I made a lot of impassioned arguments for why a work of art should reflect the ideas and beliefs of its creator, but the simple fact was that my contract made that issue irrelevant. It was a grim, sad time. Desperation makes a person do crazy things.
Bill Watterson has famously been reluctant to do any interviews. In the few public statements he has made about Calvin and Hobbes he has been consistent in saying that the thing he values most is the control of what happens to his characters and stories.