FILE - Dav Pilkey arrives at the premiere of “Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie” in Los Angeles on May 21, 2017. A graphic novel for children from the wildly popular “Captain Underpants” series, “The Adventures of Ook and Glu,” is being pulled from library and book store shelves after its publisher said it “perpetuates passive racism.” (Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP, File)

FILE - Dav Pilkey arrives at the premiere of “Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie” in Los Angeles on May 21, 2017. A graphic novel for children from the wildly popular “Captain Underpants” series, “The Adventures of Ook and Glu,” is being pulled from library and book store shelves after its publisher said it “perpetuates passive racism.” (Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP, File)

‘Captain Underpants’ book pulled for ‘passive racism’

Scholastic removed book from its websites, stopped processing orders

NEW YORK — A graphic novel for children from the wildly popular “Captain Underpants” series is being pulled from library and book store shelves after its publisher said it “perpetuates passive racism.”

The book under scrutiny is 2010’s “The Adventures of Ook and Gluk” by Dav Pilkey, who has apologized, saying it “contains harmful racial stereotypes” and is “wrong and harmful to my Asian readers.”

The book follows about a pair of friends who travel from 500,001 B.C. to 2222, where they meet a martial arts instructor who teaches them kung fu and they learn principles found in Chinese philosophy.

Scholastic said it had removed the book from its websites, stopped processing orders for it 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,” the publisher said in a statement.

Pilkey in a YouTube statement said he planned to donate his advance and all royalties from the book’s sales to groups dedicated to stopping violence against Asians and to promoting diversity in children’s books and publishing.

“I hope that you, my readers, will forgive me, and learn from my mistake that even unintentional and passive stereotypes and racism are harmful to everyone,” he wrote. “I apologize, and I pledge to do better.”

The decision comes amid a wave of high-profile and sometimes deadly violence against Asian Americans since the pandemic began.

Earlier this month, the estate of Dr. Seuss said six of his books would no longer be published because they contained depictions of groups that were “hurtful and wrong,” including Asian Americans. The move drew immediate reaction on social media from those who called it another example of “cancel culture.”

By The Associated Press

Booksracism

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The length of grass on people’s lawns could be part of the new Community Standards bylaw being considered by Red Deer city council. (Black Press file photo).
Loitering, noise complaints, swearing covered in proposed bylaw

A few old rules could be dropped and new rules added

Heather Buelow, owner of Aerial Edge Studio in Blackfalds, says she has spent all of her savings to keep the studio going through government-mandated shutdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Contributed photo)
Either open in-person or close permanently: Central Alberta yoga studio defying rules

A central Alberta woman is allowing clients back into her traditional and… Continue reading

Sweden skip Niklas Edin makes a shot against Scotland in the Men's World Curling Championship gold medal final in Calgary, Alta., Sunday, April 11, 2021. Curling's Humpty's Champions Cup in Calgary has been pushed back a day due to the delayed finish of the men's world championship. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Start of Humpty’s Champions Cup pushed back a day in Calgary

Start of Humpty’s Champions Cup pushed back a day in Calgary

Men’s world curling championship in Calgary concludes amid COVID scare

Men’s world curling championship in Calgary concludes amid COVID scare

New York Yankees starting pitcher Gerrit Cole throws against the Toronto Blue Jays during the first inning of a baseball game Monday, April 12, 2021, in Dunedin, Fla. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson)
Higashioka and Cole help Yankees beat Blue Jays 3-1

Higashioka and Cole help Yankees beat Blue Jays 3-1

Alberta doctors say trust must be rebuilt after proposed new labour deal rejected

Alberta doctors say trust must be rebuilt after proposed new labour deal rejected

People line up in the rain for a COVID-19 vaccine at a pop-up clinic at the Masjid Darus Salaam in the Thorncliffe Park neighbourhood in Toronto on Sunday, April 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Provinces defend health restrictions as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations rise

Provinces defend health restrictions as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations rise

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney updates media on measures taken to help with COVID-19, in Edmonton on March 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta legislature Speaker apologizes for condemning new COVID health restrictions

Alberta legislature Speaker apologizes for condemning new COVID health restrictions

Ukraine’s leader requests a talk with Putin, gets no answer

Ukraine’s leader requests a talk with Putin, gets no answer

Madelyn Boyko poses along with a number of the bath bombs she makes with her mom, Jessica Boyko. Madelyn says she enjoys making the bath bombs with her mom as it is a special time for just the two of them. (Photo Submitted)
5-year-old Sylvan Lake girl selling bath bombs in support of younger brother

Madelyn Boyko is selling bath bombs for CdLS research in honour of her younger brother

Most Read