Roald Dahl’s books REWRITTEN to remove ‘offensive’ language to create world where no one is ‘fat’
Roald Dahl’s beloved children’s books are being rewritten by sensibility gurus to remove language they find offensive, including creating a world where no one is ‘fat’ and the Oompa Loompas are gender-neutral.
Puffin Publishing has hired sensitive readers to rewrite portions of the author’s text to ensure that the books “can continue to be enjoyed by all today”, resulting in major changes to Dahl’s work.
Considerable edits have been made to the descriptions of the physical appearance of the characters: the new editions no longer use the word “fat”, which has been dropped from all books, The Telegraph reported.
Augustus Gloop in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory can now only be described as ‘huge’.
Hundreds of changes were made to the original text, extinguishing Dahl’s colorful and memorable descriptions, some over fifty years old, to make his characters less grotesque.
Extensive changes have been made to Roald Dahl’s works, including the Oompa Loompas in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory that have been made gender neutral.
The word ‘fat’ has been deleted from every one of Dahl’s books, with Augustus Gloop only being described as ‘huge’.
The ‘terrible ugliness’ of Mrs Twit has become ‘ugliness’ and Mrs Hoppy in Esio Trot is not an ‘attractive middle-aged lady’ but a ‘kind middle-aged lady’.
Gender is also removed and the books no longer refer to ‘female’ characters.
Miss Trunchbull in Matilda, once a ‘most formidable woman’, is now a ‘most formidable woman’, while her ‘great horse face’ is now called ‘her face’.
The Oompa-Loompas that were once ‘little men’ are now ‘little people’ and Fantastic Mr Fox’s three sons have become daughters.
The publisher has also added passages not written by the late author, who died in 1990, to complete its new editions.
In The Witches, a paragraph describing them as bald under their wigs is briefly followed by a new line: “There are plenty of other reasons women might wear wigs and there’s certainly nothing wrong with that.”
A witch posing as a ‘supermarket cashier’ now works as a ‘top scientist’ and Matilda reads Jane Austen instead of Rudyard Kipling.
Mental health was another focal point for sensitive readers with the words ‘mad’ and ‘mad’, which Dahl used comically, removed from his books.
The Big Friendly Giant in The BFG no longer wears a black cape as the words ‘black’ and ‘white’ no longer exist in the new editions.
In the new version of The Twits, Mrs. Twit’s ‘terrible ugliness’ has been turned into ‘ugliness’.
Mrs. Hoppy in Esio Trot is no longer an “attractive middle-aged lady” but a “kind middle-aged lady”
Miss Trunchbull in Matilda, once a ‘most formidable woman’, now a ‘most formidable woman’
The Big Friendly Giant in The BFG no longer wears a black cape and characters cannot become ‘scary white’, as the words ‘black’ and ‘white’ no longer exist in the new editions.
Elsewhere, the Cloud-Men in James and the Giant Peach are now known as ‘Cloud-People’.
The changes were made by the Puffin and Roald Dahl Story Company, bought by Netflix in 2021 for £500 million.
But the review began in 2020 when the company was still run by the Dahl family who, that same year, apologized for the author’s anti-Semitic statements.
Dahl, a fighter pilot during World War II, is one of the best-selling children’s authors in history with more than 250 million books sold.
According to The Telegraph, Dahl’s biographer Matthew Dennison said the author chose his vocabulary carefully, saying: “I’m almost sure he would have recognized that the alterations in his novels brought about by the political climate were prompted by adults rather than children. “. ‘
Problems with the content of Dahl’s children’s book increased in 2020 when a Hollywood version of The Witches received backlash after the High Witch, played by Anne Hathaway, was missing a finger on each hand.
Paralympians and charities said it was offensive to the limb difference community and Warner Bros was forced to apologize.
In the latest edition of The Witches, 59 changes have been made to avoid offense, such as the phrases ‘You must be crazy, woman!’ and ‘big flock of ladies’ was changed to ‘You must be crazy!’ and ‘large group of ladies’.
In another place, the passage that says: ‘I don’t want to speak ill of women. Most women are lovely. But the fact is that all witches are women. There is no such thing as a male witch’ has been changed to ‘A witch is always a female’. There is no such thing as a male warlock.
Hundreds of changes have been made to Dahl’s books, and some passages not written by the author have been added.
Dahl is one of the most successful children’s authors in history, with 250 million copies of his books sold.
In the last edition of The Witches, 59 changes have been made to avoid offense. Pictured: The 1990 film of the book.
In Esio Trot, a joke about the backwards title of the book was cut: ‘Turtles are very backward creatures. Therefore, they can only understand words that are spelled backwards’ has been changed to: ‘They can only understand words that are spelled backwards.’
Meanwhile, the new edition of the book no longer says that the turtles come “mainly from North Africa” but from “many different countries.”
Not even the famous illustrations from Quentin Blake’s books have escaped reprints from previous issues, like Mike Tevee’s toy guns from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory that will be removed by 2022.
Puffin and the Roald Dahl Story Company made the latest changes together with Inclusive Minds, which their spokesperson describes as “a collective for people who are passionate about inclusion and accessibility in children’s literature.”
Organizations like Inclusive Minds have sprung up to help publishers navigate these new choppy waters.
Alexandra Strick, co-founder of Inclusive Minds, says they “aim to ensure authentic representation, working closely with the book world and with those who have experienced any facet of diversity.”
Authors and publishers warn that ‘sensitive readers’ are destroying books
Writers have warned against the dangers of “sensitive readers” editing or removing language from books they find offensive.
Such readers review manuscripts prior to publication to raise concerns about language they find unacceptable.
Authors and publishers have said the practice risks destroying the art of writing through overzealous censorship, The Times reported.
Writing Diversely is an agency that provides sensitive readers, where one of those readers identifies as a ‘disabled non-binary Jewish queer person with ADHD’.
Another sensitivity reader describes himself as a ‘gender-fluid, light-skinned, bisexual Mexican, self-diagnosed as autistic and with EDS. [ehlers danlos syndrome]depression and anxiety.
One case of so-called sensitivity reading involved award-winning author Kate Clanchy being told she couldn’t call the Taliban ‘terrorists’ because they now control the Afghan government.
Author Anthony Horowitz was forced to remove the word ‘scalpel’ from a book out of fear that it might offend Native Americans, as it closely resembled the word ‘scalp’.
This was despite the fact that the word comes from the Latin ‘scalpellum’, which means scalpel.
A fiction writer described how a publisher requested that his book be sent to sensitive readers because a character was disabled, even though the author has the same disability.
Kate Clanchy has been asked to send her Orwell Prize-winning book ‘Some Children I Taught and What They Taught Me’ to sensitive readers after some social media users claimed the descriptions in it were racist.
When the book was returned to him with hundreds of suggested changes, he left his publisher, Picador.
The author then joined the independent publisher Swift Press, which reprinted her original book.
Clanchy said: ‘The problem is that authors are now self-censoring their work before they even show it to these people.
We already have fact checkers, so I don’t see why we need sensitivity readers. They are thought checkers.
Mark Richards, co-founder of Swift Press, said: “I would like to see these books accepted by major publishers, but the industry has lost its backbone in the last five years.
“Publishers don’t want to get caught up in Twitter storms, so they hire sensitive readers as insurance.”