Dr. Seuss Enterprises announced that six books written by the late author, whose real name is Theodor Seuss Geisel, will no longer be published because the depictions of the characters may be viewed as racist.
"These books portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong," Dr. Seuss Enterprises said in a statement. "Ceasing sales of these books is only part of our commitment and our broader plan to ensure Dr. Seuss Enterprises' catalog represents and supports all communities and families."
The six books that are being pulled from shelves are:
And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street
If I Ran the Zoo
On Beyond Zebra!
Scrambled Eggs Super!
The Cat's Quizzer
Dr. Seuss Enterprises, which is in charge of preserving and protecting the legacy of the famed children's author, said the decision to stop publishing the books was made last year after months of discussions with educators and academics.
"Dr. Seuss Enterprises listened and took feedback from our audiences, including teachers, academics, and specialists in the field as part of our review process. We then worked with a panel of experts, including educators, to review our catalog of titles," it said.
In recent years, Dr. Seuss has come under fire because of his history of drawing racist caricatures in his books. Many of the offensive caricatures are from his earlier works, including some that date back to his days as a student at Dartmouth College in the 1920s.
A 2019 study published in the journal Research on Diversity in Youth Literatureexamined 50 books published by the acclaimed children's author and found that 43 out of the 45 characters of color have "characteristics aligning with the definition of Orientalism," while the other two characters identified as "African" both "align with the theme of anti-Blackness." The study also pointed out that the vast majority of human characters in his books are white.
The decision to stop publishing the six books comes after a school district in Virginia decided to drop his books from its "Read Across America" event. School officials said they wanted to distance their event from Dr. Seuss but said they were not banning the books or removing them from the library.
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