Dr. Seuss Enterprises announced that they would no longer publish 6 of the late author's books as they portrayed people of other races in the wrong manner.
Six books of Dr. Seuss's books will not be published anymore due to its insensitive and racist imagery. The announcement was made by Dr. Seuss Enterprises on Tuesday, which marked the famed late author's birthday, and "Read Across America Day." The shelved books include titles such as If I Ran the Zoo and And To Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street. The leading children's entertainment company told the Associated Press that these books would not be distributed saying, "These books portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong."
"Ceasing sales of these books is only part of our commitment and our broader plan to ensure Dr. Seuss Enterprises' catalog represents and supports all communities and families," added the company which is committed to preserving the work of Theodor Seuss Geisel, who was popularly known by his pen name Dr. Seuss. McElligot's Pool, The Cat's Quizzer, Scrambled Eggs Super!, and On Beyond Zebra! are the other titles that would no longer go into distribution. The decision is believed to have been made last year after the folks over at Dr. Seuss Enterprises deliberated upon the matter for months.
"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," explained the company. The company noted that it is "committed to listening and learning and will continue to review our entire portfolio." Though the works of Dr. Seuss has been widely loved across the world, it has received criticism from time to time for using insensitive imagery in the books. A study published in 2019 argued the problematic nature of many of the author's classic children's books, reports PEOPLE.
It argued that his books were racist as only 2 percent of the characters in his books represented people of color. Over the years, many school districts have stopped promoting Dr. Seuss's books on Read Across America Day and this includes Loudon County, Virginia. "Research in recent years has revealed strong racial undertones in many books written/illustrated by Dr. Seuss," read a statement from the school district according to PEOPLE. " Previously, Former First Lady Michelle Obama had read The Cat in the Hat and the National Education Association (NEA) president recited Green Eggs and Ham during the premier event in Washington, DC for local elementary school students.
But in 2018 it was decided that the kids would listen to author Jesse Holland reading an excerpt from his novel Black Panther: Who is the Black Panther? in keeping with its theme of 'Celebrating a Nation of Diverse Readers.' "It’s critical that all students see themselves represented in the popular culture," explained NEA president Eskelsen García back then. "During this year’s Read Across America and National Reading Month, our theme is ‘Celebrating a Nation of Diverse Readers,’ and we are emphasizing the importance of books that are telling children of color that they belong in the world and the world belongs to them. It can be a scary place out there right now for our students, but a book can transport them to a world that is safe, a world they feel they belong in, and a world in which they believe they can make a difference." Even President Joe Biden did not mention the late author in his Read Across America Day proclamation on Monday. He also did not elaborate the reason behind leaving out Dr. Seuss in his message.