• Monday, July 15, 2024

R.L. Stine Self-Edits His Works to Include "More Inclusive Language"

Alongside the recently released Roald Dahl novels for young readers from Puffin, there will be the Roald Dahl Classic Collection.
on Mar 07, 2023
R.L. Stine Self-Edits His Works

R.L. Stine, the author of "Goosebumps," is the most recent author to have his earlier works modified to be "more inclusive" of today's culture, albeit this case seems self-imposed.

It was revealed on Friday that more than 100 edits had been made to several books within the children's horror series, many of which referenced weight, ethnicity and other sensitive topics. Unlike recent reports of books being edited for language, Stine allegedly took part in the edits himself.

One example included a description of a character in 1996's "Attack of the Jack-O'-Lanterns" who was previously described as "tall and good-looking, with dark brown eyes and a great, warm smile. Lee is African-American, and he sort of struts when he walks and acts cool, like the rappers on MTV videos." 

The character's current incarnation is "With brown complexion, dark brown eyes, and a lovely, friendly grin; she is tall and attractive. He kind of walks with a swagger and acts really cool."

Another instance substituted "at least six feet six" for "at least six chins" while describing an extraterrestrial.

Also replaced were the words "crazy" and "plump" with the words "silly" and "cheerful," respectively.

After recent criticism of Penguin Random House Publisher's children's division Puffin UK, which edited some of Roald Dahl's iconic works, including "Matilda," "James and the Giant Peach," "The Witches," and "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" for objectionable language, this news was released.

Most notably, the Oompa Loompas' designation as "little men" in "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" was changed to "small people."

After a few days, Puffin UK said it would keep publishing Dahl's "classic" books alongside the more "inclusive" editions.

"Alongside the recently released Roald Dahl novels for young readers from Puffin, there will be the Roald Dahl Classic Collection. Readers may select the version of Dahl's stories they like, "According to the publisher's press release.

Soon after the changes were made public, it came to light that Ian Fleming Publishing had paid for a review of multiple James Bond publications to remove any instances of racial insensitivity, including the usage of the n-word. Prior to "Casino Royale's" 70th-anniversary release, this occurred.

A new disclaimer stated, "This work was published during a period when phrases and attitudes which could be deemed offensive by current readers were frequent. This version includes several modifications while trying to be as true to the original text and the time period in which it is set as feasible.

Scholastic responded in a statement to Fox News Digital, "With comedy and just the perfect amount of fright, the Goosebumps series has inspired millions of children to read for more than 30 years. Scholastic takes seriously its obligation to keep introducing every new generation to this well-known teen brand. 

During re-issuing titles some years ago, Scholastic examined the content to maintain the contemporary language and prevent imagery that may negatively affect a young person's sense of themselves today, with a special focus on mental health."

After "Harry Potter," the "Goosebumps" series is the best-selling children's series, with over 300 million copies sold globally.

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