Six books by Dr. Seuss, including two of the best known works by the legendary children’s author, will no longer be published because they contain racially insensitive illustrations, the Associated Press reports.
Dr. Seuss Enterprises, the entertainment company that controls the author’s intellectual property, is pulling If I Ran the Zoo, And To Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, and four other books from publication because they “portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong,” the company said in a statement.
And To Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street contains an illustration of an Asian stereotype, and If I Ran the Zoo features a drawing of two African people portrayed in an offensive way.
“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 AP. “We then worked with a panel of experts, including educators, to review our catalog of titles.”
On social media, conservatives mocked the decision. “Trump took down ISIS. Biden took down Dr. Seuss,” wrote one, although the president very obviously had no role in Dr. Seuss Enterprises’ move.
Journalist and biographer Mark Harris wrote that “the blowhard right should stop panicking.”
“I read a lot about Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss) and his politics when I was working on Five Came Back, and there’s not a doubt in my mind that he would have thought all the people at Fox News suddenly taking him up as a cause are the world’s biggest assholes,” he tweeted.
I read a lot about Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss) and his politics when I was working on Five Came Back, and there's not a doubt in my mind that he would have thought all the people at Fox News suddenly taking him up as a cause are the world's biggest assholes.— Mark Harris (@MarkHarrisNYC) March 2, 2021
Michael Schaub is a Texas-based journalist and regular contributor to NPR.