Roald Dahl publisher will still print un-woke book versions

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The publisher of Roald Dahl books said Friday it will still publish uncensored versions of the author’s classic children books without scrubbing un-woke language from them after a firestorm erupted over changing the works.

Puffin Books partially walked back its plan to remove “insensitive” words such as “fat,” “ugly,” “crazy” and even “female” from the author’s pages.

“We recognize the importance of keeping Dahl’s classic texts in print,” the British publisher said in a press release. “We are offering readers the choice to decide how they experience Roald Dahl’s magical, marvellous stories.”

The publisher’s announcement came after backlash over its move to cut and alter references to gender, race and physical appearance in newer editions of Dahl’s books.

The company added, “We’ve listened to the debate over the past week… [There are] very real questions around how stories from another era can be kept relevant for each new generation.”

Roald Dahl books
The publisher of Roald Dahl books partially walked back its plan to scrub “insensitive” words from the stories.
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The Roald Dahl Story Company, which controls the rights to the books,  said on Feb. 18 it would use so-called sensitivity experts to white-wash the tales with the help of Puffin.

Puffin tapped the experts to rewrite hundreds of sections of the late author’s texts —  including passages from “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “James and the Giant Peach” — to ensure his work won’t offend today’s woke audiences.

But observers were quick to slam it as censorship.

“Roald Dahl was no angel but this is absurd censorship,” acclaimed author Salman Rushdie wrote on Twitter. “Puffin Books and the Dahl estate should be ashamed.″

Roald Dhal by the shed
The decision to censor Roald Dahl’s books brought on a wave of criticism.
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Duchess Camilla, reading
The Duchess of Cornwall also spoke out against editing the author’s works.
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Suzanne Nossel, chief executive of the literature and human rights group PEN America, said the move snuffed out freedom of expression.

“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.”

At writer’s receptions in the UK Thursday,  King Charles’s wife, Camilla, also spoke out against the move — slamming “sensitivity gurus” who have altered Dahl’s books.

“Please remain true to your calling, unimpeded by those who may wish to curb the freedom of your expression or impose limits on your imagination,” she said. “Enough said.”

Dhal, who died in 1990, penned 49 books including gems such as “Matilda,” “The Witches” and “The Twits.”

Roald Dahl books on display
Sensitivity experts have made hundreds of edits to books including “Matilda,” “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “James and the Giant Peach.”


The word has reportedly been cut from all of Dahl’s children’s books.

In “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” the description of gluttonous boy Augustus Gloop has been changed from “enormously fat” to just “enormous.”

Sentences in “James and the Giant Peach” that previously referred to character Aunt Sponge as “the fat one” and “terrifically fat” have also been removed.


In “The Twits” book, the Mrs Twit character is no longer called “ugly and beastly” – but rather just “beastly.”

The “oh how ugly they were” sentence in “The BFG,” which described the not-so-friendly giants, has also been scrubbed.


A description of the Mrs Jenkins character in “The Witches” has seen the word crazy removed. In older versions, Dahl had written “Mrs Jenkins will go crazy” but it has since changed to “Mrs Jenkins will be furious.”

In “Matilda,” a sentence that previously read “crazy with frustration” now says “wild with frustration.”

The book “James and the Giant Peach” also saw similar edits. A sentence that read “that crazy Glow-worm has gone to sleep with her light on” now uses the term “silly” instead.

with Emily Crane

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