A book that’s a spinoff of author Dav Pilkey’s popular Captain Underpants series will no longer be published by Scholastic, which also asked that copies in circulation at libraries and other distributors be returned.
In a statement, Scholastic said that it will no longer publish or distribute Pilkey’s 2010 graphic novel, The Adventures of Ook and Gluk: Kung-Fu Cavemen from the Future. It claimed the author supported the move.
“Together, we recognize that this book perpetuates passive racism. We are deeply sorry for this serious mistake,” the company said, without citing specifics.
“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’s Captain Underpants character was the subject of a 2017 DreamWorks Animation and 20h Century Fox film, Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie. He also authored the popular “Dog Man” series.
Pilkey also shared an apology letter on YouTube in which he claimed the deleted book was intended to “showcase diversity, equality, and non-violent conflict resolution.”
However, “But this week it was brought to my attention that this book also contains harmful racial stereotypes and passively racist imagery,” he 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 ban comes in the wake of a similar decision to delete six Dr. Seuss books by Penguin Random House. The books were pulled because of alleged racist and insensitive imagery.
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