Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Scholastic halts distribution of the book by the author ‘Captain Underpants’

The children’s graphic novel was removed from circulation by its publisher last week by the creator of the popular “Captain Underpants” series, stating that it “eliminates passive racism.”

Scholastic said last week that it was Stop delivery Originally published in 2010 from the book, “The Adventures of the Oak and Gluck: Kung-Fu Cayman, the Future”. The decision was made with the “full support” of its author Dave Pilkey, adding the company said it had removed the book from its website and stopped fulfilling orders for it.

“Together, we believe that this book eradicates passive racism,” the publisher said in a statement. “We are deeply sorry for this grave mistake.”

Credit …School

The graphic novel, written and illustrated by the characters in the “Captain Underpants” series, follows Ooak and Glook, who live in the fictional town of Cavalon, Ohio, in 500,001 BCE to the characters. A time was drawn through the portal. Year 2222, where he meets Master Wong, a martial arts instructor who teaches him kung fu.

Mr. Pilkey’s “Captain Underpants” books, briefly featuring superheroes and a red cape, have been on The New York Times children’s series is a best-seller list for 240 weeks. In a letter Posted on its YouTube channel On Thursday, Mr Pilkey said he intended to show “diversity, equality and non-violent conflict resolution” with “The Adventures of Ooak and Gluck” about a group of friends who were found in Kung Fu and Chinese Save the world using principles. visit

“But this week it was brought to my attention that the book also contained harmful racial stereotypes and passive racist imagery,” Mr. Pilkey has written. “I wanted to take the opportunity to publicly apologize for this. This was wrong and harmful to my Asian readers, friends and family and all Asians. “

Mr Pilkey declined to comment via Scholastic. He and his wife, he wrote on YouTube, plan to donate their advances and all of their royalties to various types of organizations, from the sale of the novel to curbing violence and hatred against Asians and in children’s books and publications Groups dedicated to promoting diversity are included.

“I hope you, my readers, forgive me, and learn from my mistake that unintentional and passive stereotypes and racism are harmful to all,” he wrote. “I apologize, and I vow to do better.”

Scholastic’s decision to pull the book came a few days later A man set fire to three massage businesses In and near Atlanta, killing eight people, including six women of Asian descent. In the last year, About 3,800 hate incidents According to Stop AAPI Hate, reports were made against Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders nationwide.

Activists and elected officials have said Former President Donald J. These attackers were fueled by Trump’s frequent use Racist language Mentioning coronavirus.

Earlier this month, Drs. Sis’s estate announced that six of his books would no longer be published, as they featured in depictions of groups that were “hurt and mistaken.” Decision indicated Complaints about “cancel culture” From major conservatives.

Scholastic said it was pulling “The Adventures of Oak and Gluck” after Billy Kim, a Korean-American father between the ages of 5 and 7, started a petition Seeking forgiveness from the publisher after borrowing the book from the library.

“I realized that the book relied on racist fantasy and many examples of conservative tropes,” he wrote in a message accompanying the petition.

He said that these include wearing traditional clothes, Asian characters with a dash for the eyes, the use of stereotypical Chinese proverbs, and a story line in which the kung fu master is rescued by a non-Asian hero who uses the skills taught to him We do.

“Nobody said anything about how it happened in the last 10 years?” Mr. Kim from Manhattanette, NY, said in an interview.

Mr. Kim stated that he contacted Scholastic and spoke with a senior executive there, and he later spoke with Mr. Pilkey by Videocon for about 40 minutes. Mr. Pilkey said, he apologized to him and his elder son.

While Mr. Kim was happy that the book was being pulled, he wrote that “the damage has been done.”

“Every child who has read this book has been conditioned to accept this racist fantasy as ‘OK’ or even funny,” he wrote.

Christina Rhodes, an English professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Shipsburg, said that Scholastic should have known about the racially insensitive imagination in the book a decade earlier.

Professor Rhodes stated that stereotypical images and tropes might give younger readers a distorted view of certain groups. “Children see themselves reflected in books,” she said.

Lara Saguisag, an English teacher specializing in children’s and young adult literature at the College of Staten Island, said she was surprised to see these images of Mr. Pilkey, who said she energized the children and asked “reluctant readers” to teach them Appealed. Loves books and reading.

“I think it’s part of the alarm about these books because it’s running under the radar,” she said.

Professor Saguisag said he expected Scholastic and other publishers to evaluate other books for racially insensitive imagery.

“As long as the profit center is in place, I think such rules of pulling books off the bookshelf would be the exception rather than the rule,” she said. “I hope I am proven wrong.”

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