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Six Dr Seuss books ceasing publication over ‘hurtful and wrong’ racist imagery

The cancel culture bells have tolled on six Dr Seuss books that will stop being published because of racist and insensitive imagery, says the business that preserves the author’s legacy.

A panel of experts deemed the way the books portrayed some people was “hateful and wrong.” The six books include And to Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street, If I Ran the Zoo, McElligot’s Pool, On Beyond Zebra!, Scrambled Eggs Super!, and The Cat’s Quizzer.

“These books portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong,” Dr Seuss Enterprises told the Associated Press in a statement that coincided with the late American author and illustrator’s birthday, March 2.

Dr Seuss was born Theodor Seuss Geisel in Massachusetts on March 2, 1904, and died in 1991. His books were translated into dozens of languages as well as in braille and were sold in more than 100 countries.

In 2017, a school librarian in Cambridge, Massachusetts, criticized a gift of 10 Dr. Seuss books from then First Lady Melania Trump, saying many of his works were “steeped in racist propaganda, caricatures, and harmful stereotypes.”

In 2018, a Dr. Seuss museum in his hometown of Springfield removed a mural that included an Asian stereotype.

In 2015 then First Lady Michelle Obama Read Dr. Seuss Books to Kids.

Photo: 2015 Flashback: Michelle Obama Reads Dr. Seuss Books to Kids.
Video: 2015 Flashback: Michelle Obama Reads Dr. Seuss Books to Kids.

The decision to cease publication and sales of the books was made last year after months of discussion, the company told the Associated Press on March 2, 2021.

“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,” the comapny said in their statement.

The reaction on social media to the news that six Dr. Seuss books will stop publication was mixed.