Roald Dahl Children Books Are Being Censored!

Many authors, including Booker Prize winner Salman Rushdie, reacted angrily to the discovery that changes had been made to the works of best-selling children’s novelist Roald Dahl, calling the revisions “absurd censorship.” The author of figures like Matilda, the BFG, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Willy Wonka, and the Twits, Dahl, passed away in 1990 at 76.

More than 300 million copies of his books have been sold and translated into 63 languages. His works have also been widely adapted on both big and small screens. Although the author has a lengthy history of controversy, his estate issued an official apology for any antisemitic remarks he may have made in the past in 2020.

It has just come to light that the current Puffin copies of his novels include the following text at the foot of the copyright page: “Words have power. Roald Dahl’s excellent writing may take you to new realms and expose you to the most amazing characters. Although this book was written many years ago, we routinely check the wording to ensure everyone may still enjoy it today.”

A group called Inclusive Minds, which describes itself as “a collective for people who are passionate about inclusion, diversity, equality, and accessibility in children’s literature, and are committed to changing the face of children’s books,” worked on these revisions with the help of “sensitivity readers.”

The British publication The Daily Telegraph stated that it had discovered hundreds of modifications throughout the author’s several children’s books in a comprehensive study published on Saturday.

The terminology about gender, ethnicity, weight, mental health, and violence had been deleted or changed, according to a close examination by its journalists. As part of this, descriptions that used the colors black and white, as well as adjectives like “fat” and “ugly,” were eliminated.

Journalists researching the story identified 59 modifications in just “The Witches” and hundreds more in Dahl’s other well-known works like “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “Matilda.”

In collaboration with the late author’s estate, Rushdie tweeted on Saturday to express his disagreement with the Puffin move. “Even though Roald Dahl wasn’t perfect, this censorship is ludicrous. The Dahl estate and Puffin Books should be ashamed, “Rushdie tweeted.

Rushdie, 75, is not new to the censorship controversy. Following the publication of his book “The Satanic Verses” in 1988, the then-leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, issued a fatwa demanding his execution. After being assaulted at a lecture in New York last year, the Indian-born novelist lost vision in one eye.

Even Rishi Sunak

, the British Prime Minister, has now weighed in on the Dahl debate and spoken out against the decision to update the books.
Sunak’s spokeswoman used Dahl’s language while responding to whether it is appropriate to censor children’s books, saying: “When it comes to our rich and varied literary legacy, the Prime Minister agrees with the BFG that you shouldn’t “gobble-funk around with words.”

The representative continued, “We’ve always backed the freedom to free speech and expression,” adding that “works of art and fiction must be maintained and not whitewashed.”

In a statement sent to CNN, the author’s estate, the Roald Dahl Story Company, explained that the current review with Puffin, in partnership with Inclusive Minds, began in 2020 — the year before Dahl’s works were acquired by Netflix.
It said: “We want to ensure that Roald Dahl’s wonderful stories and characters continue to be enjoyed by all children today. When publishing new print runs of books written years ago, reviewing the language and updating other details, including a book’s cover and page layout, is not unusual.
Our guiding principle has been maintaining the original text’s storylines, characters, irreverence, and sharp-edged spirit. Any changes made have been small and carefully considered.”

The CEO of PEN America, a group of authors who defend free speech, Suzanne Nossel, reacted fiercely to reports of the alterations on social media.

She said the group was “alarmed” by the revisions, which were done in “a stated effort to scrub the books of that which might offend someone,” in a series of 13 tweets.

She wrote: “If we start down the path of trying to correct for perceived slights instead of allowing readers to receive and react to books as written, we risk distorting the work of great authors and clouding the essential lens that literature offers on society.”

The renowned author of the epic fantasy novel “His Dark Materials,” Philip Pullman, responded to the news slightly differently. On Monday, he stated on BBC Radio 4’s “Today” show that Dahl’s works should be allowed to “fade away” despite not endorsing the revisions.

Whatever modifications might be made now, he emphasized that millions of older copies are still being used in classrooms, libraries, secondhand shops, and other places.

He said: “All those words are still there. Will you round up all the books and cross them out with a big black pen?”
Pullman noted that language evolves with time and urged parents to introduce their kids to diverse authors. He remarked, “Let them fade away — read better writers” about Dahl’s writings.

As an admin of, I have the responsibility to oversee and manage the website's operations, ensuring that it runs smoothly and efficiently. This involves overseeing the website's content, ensuring that all articles are accurate, informative, and follow ethical guidelines for journalism. As an administrator, I am also responsible for managing the team of journalists who contribute to the website, including recruiting and hiring new writers, providing feedback and guidance on their work, and ensuring that they have the resources they need to produce high-quality content.