‘Captain Underpants’ Spinoff Book Removed from Shelves Due to ‘Passive Racism’
By Movieguide® Staff
Scholastic will no longer publish “The Adventures of Ook and Gluk: Kung-Fu Caveman from the Future,” a spinoff from author Dav Pilkey’s popular children’s book series Captain Underpants, after they accused the book of perpetuating “passive racism.”
The company also asked that libraries and other distributors return any copies of the canceled book that remain in circulation.
Reportedly, Pilkey agreed with Scholastic in their decision to remove his 2010 graphic novel from shelves.
“Together, we recognize that this book perpetuates passive racism,” Scholastic said in a statement. “We are deeply sorry for this serious mistake.”
The statement continued: “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.”
Pilkey shared an apology message on his YouTube channel and said that he intended to “showcase the 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,” Pilkey wrote. “I wanted to take this opportunity to publicly apologize for this. It was and is wrong and harmful to my Asian readers, friends, and family, and to all Asian people.”
Pilkey’s book character Captain Underpants has been adapted for the big and small screen. The character appeared in 2017’s CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS: THE FIRST EPIC MOVIE and a Netflix Original series called THE EPIC TALES OF CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS IN SPACE.
The Captain Underpants book ban comes weeks after six Dr. Seuss books were deemed “hurtful and wrong” in their depiction of other ethnicities.
Movieguide® previously reported:
Dr. Seuss Enterprises announced that they would stop publishing six of Dr. Seuss’s classic children’s books.
“These books portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong,” Dr. Seuss Enterprises told The Associated Press. “Ceasing sales of these books is only part of our commitment and our broader plan to ensure Dr. Seuss Enterprises’ catalog represents and supports all communities and families.”
The titles affected 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.”