Scholastic said it has halted distribution of a 2010 book by popular children’s author Dav Pilkey for perpetuating racist stereotypes against Asians.
Scholastic said in a statement last week that the graphic novel, “The Adventures of Ook and Gluk: Kung-Fu Cavemen from the Future,” a spinoff of the “Captain Underpants” series, “perpetuates passive racism” and would no longer be made available.
“We are deeply sorry for this serious mistake,” the company said. “Scholastic has removed the book from our websites, stopped fulfillment of any orders (domestically or abroad), contacted our retail partners to explain why this book is no longer available, and sought a return of all inventory. We will take steps to inform schools and libraries who may still have this title in circulation of our decision to withdraw it from publication.”
Mr. Pilkey said he was involved with the decision to cancel the book, issuing an apology to “my Asian readers, friends, and family, and to all Asian people” for creating “passively racist imagery.”
“About ten years ago I created a book about a group of friends who save the world using Kung Fu and the principles found in Chinese philosophy,” he wrote. “The Adventures of Ook and Gluk: Kung-Fu Cavemen from the Future was intended to showcase diversity, equality, and non-violent conflict resolution. But this week it was brought to my attention that this book also contains harmful racial stereotypes and passively racist imagery.
“I hope that you, my readers, will forgive me, and learn from my mistake that even unintentional and passive stereotypes and racism are harmful to everyone. I apologize, and I pledge to do better,” he said, adding that all past proceeds from the sales of the book would be donated to multiple charities, including We Need Diverse Books, The AAPI, and TheaterWorks USA.