Dr. Seuss Enterprises, the company that controls the legacy and production of books penned by the beloved children’s author, has announced that six Dr. Seuss books will no longer be published due to potentially racist and insensitive imagery.
The impacted titles include And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, which features a crude drawing of an Asian person wearing a cone-shaped hat, holding a bowl and eating with chopsticks, and If I Ran the Zoo, which contains a drawing of two barefoot African men wearing grass skirts with their hair tied above their heads.
McElligot’s Pool, On Beyond Zebra!, Scrambled Eggs Super! and The Cat’s Quizzer are also being pulled from future publication due to comparably offensive imagery.
“These books portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong,” Dr. Seuss Enterprises said in a statement issued to The Associated Press. “Ceasing sales of these books is only part of our commitment and our broader plan to ensure Dr. Seuss Enterprises’ catalog represents and supports all communities and families.”
“The decision to cease publication and sales of the books was made last year after months of discussion,” the family company told AP’s Mark Pratt.
Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Geisel was born in 1904 and died in 1991. His books have been translated into numerous languages (including braille) and are sold all around the globe. In 2020, his estate took in an estimated $33 million — more than any other dead celebrity that year after Michael Jackson.
In a statement, Random House Children Books, publisher of the Dr. Seuss catalog, said “We respect the decision of Dr. Seuss Enterprises and the work of the panel that reviewed this content last year, and their recommendation.”
Opponents of the decision took to social media, declaring this news as another example of cancel culture. The remaining stock of the now-discontinued books is quickly becoming top-sellers on most internet bookstores including Amazon and eBay.