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Tipsheet

Publisher Backtracks ‘Woke’ Rewrite of Roald Dahl’s Classic Children’s Books

Publisher Penguin Random House announced Friday it will continue to publish the original versions of British author Roald Dahl’s classic children’s books after it received backlash for publishing new versions that omitted words and sections deemed to be “offensive.”

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Puffin, which is an imprint of Penguin Random House, announced that the original versions of Dahl’s books will be available as The Roald Dahl Classic Collection. These versions will be released alongside the new, “woke” versions. 

“Readers will be free to choose which version of Dahl’s stories they prefer,” a statement from the publishing company said.

“At Puffin we have proudly published Roald Dahl’s stories for more than forty years in partnership with the Roald Dahl Story Company. Their mischievous spirit and his unique storytelling genius have delighted the imaginations of readers across many generations. We’ve listened to the debate over the past week which has reaffirmed the extraordinary power of Roald Dahl’s books and the very real questions around how stories from another era can be kept relevant for each new generation,” Francesca Dow, managing director of Penguin Random House Children’s said.

“Roald Dahl once said: ‘If my books can help children become readers, then I feel I have accomplished something important.’ At Puffin, we’ll keep pursuing that ambition for as long as we make books,” she added. Dahl’s books have sold more than 300 million copies worldwide.

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As Townhall covered,  Dahl’s classic novel “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” received several edits, which included removing the word “fat” to describe Augustus Gloop, and implemented gender-neutral terms to describe the Oompa Loompas. A report from CNN noted that an organization called “inclusive Minds” provided “sensitivity readers” to provide the edits.

In an interview with Daily Mail, the former child actor who played Augustus Gloop in the 1971 film “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” said that there’s “nothing harmful” about the language in Dahl’s book.

“It is really fine. So I don’t have feeling like it was cruel or politically incorrect or anything,” he said, adding that “I definitely don’t think it has to be rewritten at all.”

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