“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
That’s a line from the popular Dr. Seuss book, The Lorax, and it seems the publishers of his enduring children’s books agree.
Dr. Seuss Enterprises, the body responsible for preserving and protecting his legacy, today told the Associated Press it will no longer publish six books by the author due to racist and insensitive imagery.
The affected books are 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 said in a statement to AP, adding, “Ceasing sales of these books is only part of our commitment and our broader plan to ensure Dr. Seuss Enterprises’ catalogue represents and supports all communities and families.”
It continued, “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 catalogue of titles.”
Books by Dr. Seuss, born Theodore Geisel, are sold in over one hundred countries across the world and continue to be enormously popular, raking in US$33 million for his estate last year.
However, many of his works have received criticism in recent years for their portrayal of people of colour.
Geisel passed away in 1991.