Dr. Seuss Will Stop Publishing These Books Due to Accusations of Racism
They "portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong," Dr. Seuss Enterprises said.
Dr. Seuss books have been an integral part of many children's childhoods over the last 90 years. Even 20 years after author Theodor Seuss Geisel's death in 1991, the books have continuously been reprinted for young generations. However, some of the books in Dr. Seuss' bibliography haven't aged well, which is why it was just announced that Dr. Seuss Enterprises will stop publishing six of the author's books amid accusations of racism. Read on to find out which books are getting shelved permanently and for another thing from your childhood getting transformed for similar reasons, check out This Beloved Disney Ride Is Being Overhauled Due to Racist Undertones.
Six Dr. Seuss children's books, including his first one, will "cease publication" due to accusations of racism.
Dr. Seuss Enterprises, the company ensured with protecting and preserving the author's legacy, announced on Mar. 2 that they will "cease publication and licensing" on six Dr. Seuss books. This includes Seuss' first children's book published in 1937, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, as well as If I Ran the Zoo, McElligot's Pool, On Beyond Zebra!, Scrambled Eggs Super!, and The Cat's Quizzer. And for another big change happening due to recent reckonings, check out "The Simpsons" Is Replacing the Actor Behind This Beloved Character.
Dr. Seuss Enterprises said the books showed "hurtful and wrong" portrayals.
All of these books were first written in the 1930s, '40s, and '50s (except for The Cat's Quizzer, which was published in 1976). In their statement, Dr. Seuss Enterprises admits that these books "portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong."
"Today, on Dr. Seuss's Birthday (Mar. 2), Dr. Seuss Enterprises celebrates reading and also our mission of supporting all children and families with messages of hope, inspiration, inclusion, and friendship," the company said in its statement. "We are committed to action." And for more staples of your childhood reckoning with racism, check out 10 Disney Classics That Have Been Called Out for Racism.
The decision came after feedback from teachers, academic, and specialists.
According to the statement, Dr. Seuss Enterprises made the decision to stop reprinting these titles last year while working with a panel of educators and other specialists. "Dr. Seuss Enterprises listened and took feedback from our audiences including teachers, academics and specialists in the field as part of our review process," the company told the Associated Press.
Educators have been pushing back against Dr. Seuss' work for years. For instance, the National Education Association, which founded Read Across America Day in 1998 on the author's birthday, has worked to disassociate the day from Dr. Seuss and encourage more diverse reading for children. Many school districts have moved away from pushing the author's work over the years as well. It was reported last month that schools in Loudoun County, Virginia, were banning Dr. Suess books entirely. While that was not the case, the district noted that they would not be exclusively connecting Read Across America Day with his books, as they said "research in recent years has revealed strong racial undertones in many books written and illustrated by Dr. Seuss." And for more up-to-date news delivered right to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
Dr. Suess Enterprises says they will continue to work on reviewing other books from the author.
According to the Associated Press, other works in the author's catalog have received criticism as well, including one of Dr. Seuss' most popular books, The Cat in the Hat, which will continue to be published as of now. However, the company said they are looking to review all Dr. Seuss' works. "Ceasing sales of these books is only part of our commitment and our broader plan to ensure Dr. Seuss Enterprises's catalog represents and supports all communities and families," the company added in its statement. And for more recent news on this topic, see why Aunt Jemima Just Got a New Name and Logo.