A derivative book of Captain Underpants was pulled by publisher Scholastic for racist reasons.
Dav Pilkey’s Graphic Novel 2010 ‘The Adventures of Ook and Gluk: Kung Fu Cavemen of the Future‘will no longer be published and all copies in circulation are ready for return.
“On Monday March 22, 2021, with the full support of Dav Pilkey, Scholastic ceased distribution of the 2010 book The adventures of Ook and Gluk“Scholastic said in a statement.” Together we recognize that this book perpetuates passive racism. We are deeply sorry for this serious mistake. “
The publisher said it has removed the book from its websites, stopped all domestic and international orders, contacted retail partners and requested the return of all inventory, including schools and libraries.
“It is our duty and privilege to publish books presenting powerful and positive representations of our diverse society, and we will continue to strengthen our review processes as we seek to support all young readers,” added the editor.
Pilkey also shared a letter of apology, explaining that he wanted the book to “feature diversity, equality and non-violent conflict resolution.”
“But this week it was brought to my attention that this book also contains harmful racial stereotypes and passively racist images,” the author said in a statement Friday. “It was and still is wrong and harmful to my readers, Asian friends and family, as well as all Asians … I hope you, my readers, will forgive me and learn from my mistake that even the stereotypes not. intentional and passive and racism is harmful to everyone. “
Scholastic and Pilkey did not cite specific examples from the book that they found problematic.
The story follows the characters Ook and Gluk, who live in the fictional town of Caveland, Ohio, in 500,001 BC. The couple travel back in time to 2222 when they meet Master Wong, a martial arts instructor who teaches them kung fu.
The decision to withdraw the book from circulation came shortly after a Change.org petition set up by Billy Kim, a Korean-American father of two, has gained traction online.
Kim said he had recently borrowed the book for his young children from his local library but was disappointed to see “the multiple examples of racist images and stereotypical tropes.”
The father cited examples from the book, including a “Kung Fu master wearing what is supposed to be a traditional-style Tang coat, eye features for Asian characters, stereotypical Chinese proverbs, and a script that saved the master of Kung Fu by the no. -Asian protagonists using their Kung Fu skills (despite being taught these skills of the so-called master) ”. The petition also included a screenshot of controversial illustrations.
Pilkey’s Captain Underpants series and Dog Man graphic novels have sold millions of copies worldwide and have been translated into multiple languages.
According to the author’s website, his stories “explore universally positive themes that celebrate the triumph of the benevolent.”
In 2017, the character of Captain Underpants was the subject of a DreamWorks Animation and Twentieth Century Fox film starring Ed Helms and Kevin Hart.
The ban follows a similar decision to no longer publish a number of books by beloved children’s author Dr Seuss about their racist and callous images.
Six of the author’s books will not be reprinted in the future.