Dr. Seuss Enterprises announced this morning that they will stop publishing six of Dr. Seuss’ picture books amid accusations of racist imagery.
The company that seeks to preserve and protect the author’s works released a statement explaining that these six books portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong. The titles being discontinued include “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street,” “If I Ran the Zoo,” “McElligot’s Pool,” “On Beyond Zebra!,” “Scrambled Eggs Super!” and “The Cat’s Quizzer.”
Dr. Seuss Enterprises said they are committed to action and made the decision to cease publication of these books after consulting educators and reviewing its catalog.
“Ceasing sales of these books is only part of our commitment and our broader plan to ensure Dr. Seuss Enterprises’s catalog represents and supports all communities and families,” the statement said.
Born on March 2, 1904, the announcement was made on Theodor Seuss “Ted” Geisel’s 117th birthday. While the author died from cancer in 1991, his work remains among the best-selling children’s books. Geisel’s estate nearly doubled its income last year thanks to a slew of television and film deals for streaming. According to Forbes, the popular children’s author earned an estimated $33 million before taxes, making him the second-highest-paid dead celebrity behind pop star Michael Jackson.
While Dr. Seuss’ publications have been praised for illustrating many positive values, they have been criticized in for insensitive and racist imagery. The National Education Association, which first recognized March 2 as Read Across America Day in 1998 to honor Dr. Seuss’ birthday, recently strayed away from Seuss’ material and started promoting more diverse material. This year’s theme is “Create and Celebrate Diversity.”