In a statement shared on Sunday (28 March), Scholastic said that it would no longer be publishing Dav Pilkey’s 2010 graphic novel The Adventures of Ook and Gluk: Kung-Fu Cavemen from the Future.
This decision came with the author’s support, Scholastic claimed, while also asking that copies in circulation at libraries or other distributors be returned.
“Together, we recognise that this book perpetuates passive racism. We are deeply sorry for this serious mistake,” the company said.
Pilkey also shared a statement of apology to his YouTube channel, in which he claimed that the book contained “harmful racial stereotypes and passively racist imagery”.
“About 10 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,” Pilkey wrote, claiming that The Adventures of Ook and Gluk was originally intended to “showcase diversity, equality, and non-violent conflict resolution”.
He continued: “But this week it was brought to my attention that this book also contains harmful racial stereotypes and passively racist imagery. I wanted to take this opportunity to publicly apologise for this. It was and is wrong and harmful to my Asian readers, friends, and family, and to all Asian people.”
It comes after six Dr Seuss books were pulled from publication earlier this month over their use of “hurtful and wrong” imagery.