Fans and critics alike are accusing British publisher Penguin Random House of censorship after they have removed certain lines and phrases from famous books such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda and The Witches to make them more suitable for younger audiences.
The changes, which include parts relating to weight, mental health, gender and race were made by Puffin Books, a division of Penguin Random House, were first reported by Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper.
Examples of these reported changes are, Augustus Gloop from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, originally published in 1964, no longer being described as “enormously fat,” but now just “enormous.”
In a new edition of The Witches, the supernatural females who pose as ordinary females, is now a “top scientist or running a business” instead of a “cashier in a supermarket or typing letters for a businessman.”
been trying to talk about the roald dahl censorship without sounding like a boomer. anyway, i think that this statement from Warner Brothers before their old racist cartoons is pretty good, would rather publishers do something like this than literally change words pic.twitter.com/ce8yC2esDx— jolene of arc (@okaypompeii) February 19, 2023
The word “black”, which was used to describe nasty tractors in the 1970’s The Fabulous Mr Fox, has been swapped for “murderous, brutal-looking monsters.”
Roald Dahl was no angel but this is absurd censorship. Puffin Books and the Dahl estate should be ashamed. https://t.co/sdjMfBr7WW— Salman Rushdie (@SalmanRushdie) February 18, 2023
Let us not forget that Netflix acquired the Roald Dahl Story Company, which manages all of Roald Dahl copyrights, for 500M in 2021. https://t.co/P9dL7LFUgM— Daniela Oertli (@danielaoertli) February 19, 2023
According the AP News, “The Roald Dahl Story Company, which controls the rights to the books, said it worked with Puffin to review the texts because it wanted to ensure that “Dahl’s wonderful stories and characters continue to be enjoyed by all children today.”