With the media hard at work advancing the narrative that the nation is beset with a wave of violence targeting Asian Americans — some may argue this is an attempt to distract from the Biden-inspired border crisis — a graphic children’s spinoff novel from the popular “Captain Underpants” series has failed to make the cut.
Scholastic, the world’s largest publisher of educational books, said in a statement that it had removed “The Adventures of Ook and Gluk: Kung-Fu Cavemen” from its websites, stopped processing orders for it and sought a return of all inventory because the book “perpetuates passive racism.”
“On Monday, March 22, 2021, with the full support of Dav Pilkey, Scholastic halted distribution of the 2010 book The Adventures of Ook and Gluk,” the statement said. “Together, we recognize that this book perpetuates passive racism. We are deeply sorry for this serious mistake.”
“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,” the publisher added.
Author Dav Pilkey released his own statement via YouTube asking for forgiveness.
(Videos: Dav Pilkey/YouTube)
“I hope that you, my readers, will forgive me, and learn from my mistake that even unintentional and passive stereotypes and racism are harmful to everyone,” he wrote. “I apologize, and I pledge to do better.”
The book is about a pair of friends who travel from 500,001 B.C. to 2222, where they meet a martial arts instructor who teaches them kung fu and the principles found in Chinese philosophy, the Associated Press reported.
“About ten years ago I created a book about a group of friends who save the world using Kung Fu and the principles found in Chinese philosophy,” the author explained. “The Adventures of Ook and Gluk: Kung-Fu Cavemen from the Future was intended to showcase 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 imagery,” he continued. “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.”
This sets a difficult precedent for others if actions from the past are to be judged by today’s often hypersensitive standards.
The cancel culture swept up six Dr. Seuss books earlier this month after critics claimed they had racial overtones, perpetuating “anti-blackness, and white supremacy.”
Dr. Seuss Enterprises, the company committed to preserving the work of Theodor Seuss Geisel, whose pen name is Dr. Seuss, told the AP: “These books portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong.”
Pilkey said he will be donating “all of my advance and royalties” from the book sales to “charities that provide free books, art supplies, and theater for children in underserved communities; organizations that promote diversity in children’s books and publishing; and organizations designed to stop violence and hatred against Asians.”
Here’s a quick sampling of responses to the story from Twitter:
— Sean Spicer (@seanspicer) March 28, 2021
Rather, this is a generalization — used all the time in society! You wouldn’t fault someone for saying that the “Chinese use chopsticks”, even though some may not. It’s asinine to label anything deemed offensive as passive racism because it may generalize about something.
— Ryan Nickol (@NickolRyan) March 29, 2021
Is Tipper Gore behind this???
Is this now a Republican thing???
If you don’t like the book,
don’t buy it.
I am ITALIAN,
you don’t see ME calling to cancel all MAFIA movies!!!!
— Diane of Tuftslandia 👑 (@TuftsGrandma) March 29, 2021
We should probably ban any media that depicts a person of any race or gender that was created by a person not of that particular race or gender, just to be safe.
— Svensenberg (@svensenberg) March 29, 2021
I don’t understand, it’s because they travel to the past and learn Kung Fu from a Chinese instructor?
— Jinglin’ Jay-Sno from the Block (@JulioSoto77) March 29, 2021
So… excessive wokeism, or an attempt to improve sales of aging IP, Dr. Seuss style?
— Jesusaurus Rex (@Je5usaurus_Rex) March 29, 2021
So, learning Kung Fu and Chinese philosophy is racist now?
— KG🤙🏼 (@McGregorOnly) March 29, 2021
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