In late March, it was reported that one of the books in the Captain Underpants series, the 2010 graphic novel The Adventures of Ook and Gluk: Kung-Fu Cavemen from the Future, will no longer be published, as the book has a depiction of passive racism, per Deadline. Scholastic, the publisher, claimed that Dav Pilkey, the author of the graphic novel, was in support of the move. The publisher also released a statement about the news, although they did not specify what material in the novel was considered to be "passive racism."
"Together, we recognize that this book perpetuates passive racism. We are deeply sorry for this serious mistake," Scholastic's statement read. "Scholastic has removed the book from our websites, stopped fulfillment of any orders (domestically or abroad), contacted our retail partners to explain why this book is no longer available, and sought a return of all inventory. We will take steps to inform schools and libraries who may still have this title in circulation of our decision to withdraw it from publication."
Pilkey also spoke out about this news on YouTube. In the video, he said that the graphic novel in question was originally meant to "showcase diversity, equality, and non-violent conflict resolution." Although, he said that it was brought to his attention that there was racist imagery in the novel, which he apologized for. "But this week it was brought to my attention that this book also contains harmful racial stereotypes and passively racist imagery," he said. "I wanted to take this opportunity to publicly apologize for this. It was and is wrong and harmful to my Asian readers, friends, and family, and to all Asian people."
The news about this Captain Underpants book comes after six of Dr. Seuss' books were removed from shelves for racist and insensitive imagery. In early March, Dr. Seuss Enterprises announced that they would be removing those books — 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 — after consulting with their audience as part of their "review process." They stated, "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."0comments