In a statement, Dr Seuss Enterprises said he made the decision after consulting with educators and reviewing his catalog.
“Stopping the sale of these books is only part of our commitment and broader plan to ensure that the Dr. Seuss Enterprises catalog represents and supports all communities and families,” he said. -he declares.
The announcement was made on Tuesday, the famous children’s book author’s birthday.
This study, published in 2019, examined 50 of Dr. Seuss’ books and found that 43 of the 45 colored characters had “characteristics that fit the definition of Orientalism” or the stereotypical and offensive portrayal of Asia. The two “African” characters, according to the study, both have anti-black characteristics.
Two specific examples, according to the study, can be found in the books “The Cat’s Quizzer: Are YOU Smarter Than the Cat in the Hat?” and “If I ran the zoo.”
“In (‘The Cat’s Quizzer’), the Japanese character is called ‘a Japanese’, has a bright yellow face, and stands on what appears to be Mount Fuji,” the authors wrote.
Regarding “If I ran the zoo,” the study highlights another example of Orientalism and white supremacy.
“The three (and only three) Asian characters who do not wear conical hats carry a white man on their heads in ‘If I Ran the Zoo’. The white male is not only on top and carried by these Asian figures, but he is also holding a gun, exemplifying dominance. The text below the Asian characters describes them as “assistants who all have their eyes at an angle.” of “country that no one can spell,” “wrote the study’s authors.
The study also argues that since the majority of human figures in Dr. Seuss’ books are white, his works – inadvertently or not – center whiteness and thus perpetuate white supremacy.
Separate Seuss from children’s literature
Earlier this week, a school district in Virginia made headlines for allegedly banning Dr Seuss books.