Scholastic has ceased publication of a children’s book from the “Captain Underpants” series after its publisher said it “perpetuates passive racism.”
The novel, called “The Adventures of Ook and Gluk: Kung-Fu Cavemen from the Future,” will no longer be distributed, according to a statement released by Scholastic.
“On Monday, March 22, 2021, with the full support of Dav Pilkey, Scholastic halted distribution of the 2010 book ‘The Adventures of Ook and Gluk.’ Together, we recognize that this book perpetuates passive racism,” the publisher said in the statement.
“We are deeply sorry for this serious mistake. 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.”
Scholastic added, “Throughout our 100 year history, we have learned that trust must be won every day by total vigilance. It is our duty and privilege to publish books with powerful and positive representations of our diverse society, and we will continue to strengthen our review processes as we seek to support all young readers.”
Moreover, Author Dav Pilkey has apologized, saying it “contains harmful racial stereotypes” and is “wrong and harmful to my Asian readers.”
‘The Adventures of Ook and Gluk’ follows two friends who 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.
In a statement released on YouTube, Pilkey said he will be donating his advance and all royalties from the book’s sales to charities and organizations designed to stop Asian hatred.
“I hope that you, my readers, will forgive me, and learn from my mistake that even unintentional and passive stereotypes and racism is harmful to everyone. I apologize, and I pledge to do better,” Pilkey wrote.
This decision to cease the publication of this book comes during a deadly increase of hate crimes against Asian-Americans.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, violence towards Asian-Americans has surged. Thousand of demonstrators gathered over the weekend for a unity rally and march to stop Asian hate.
Earlier this month, Dr. Seuss also announced that six of his books will no longer be published because they contain depictions of race and ethnicities that were “hurtful and wrong.”
Follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy
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The Tate Brothers and Associates Face Human Trafficking Charges in Romania
In a recent development, the Tate brothers, Andrew and Tristan, along with two associates, find themselves at the center of a high-profile case involving human trafficking allegations.
The charges leveled against them indicate the formation of an organized criminal group in 2021 with the intent to carry out human trafficking operations not only in Romania but also in the United States and the United Kingdom, according to the BBC.
The investigation, which led to their arrest in December last year, has culminated in an indictment filed with the Bucharest court. According to the indictment, the Tate brothers are accused of luring their victims with false promises of love and marriage. Seven individuals have been identified as alleged victims, who were later coerced and subjected to a harrowing ordeal.
Prosecutors contend that the victims were taken to locations in Ilfov county, Romania, where they faced constant surveillance, intimidation, and control. The defendants allegedly forced the victims into debt and coerced them into participating in pornographic activities, with the explicit material subsequently shared on social media platforms. Shockingly, one of the defendants is accused of raping a woman on two occasions in March 2022, further amplifying the gravity of the charges.
While the trial is not expected to commence immediately, as a Romanian judge is granted 60 days to inspect the case files, it is anticipated to be a protracted legal battle. The complexity of the case and the severity of the charges will undoubtedly result in a lengthy trial process, with several years potentially passing before a verdict is reached.
Representatives for the Tate brothers released a statement acknowledging the unsurprising nature of the news but maintaining their belief in their innocence.
As reported by the BBC, the Tate brothers media team stared, “While this news is undoubtedly predictable, we embrace the opportunity it presents to demonstrate their innocence and vindicate their reputation.”
They expressed their eagerness to present a comprehensive body of evidence meticulously collected over time, which they believe will substantiate their claims of innocence and restore their tarnished reputation.
However, it should be noted that additional charges, such as money laundering and trafficking of minors, are still under investigation. If evidence is uncovered to support these allegations, a separate indictment could be filed, further complicating the legal proceedings for the defendants.
Andrew Tate, who gained notoriety through his participation in the reality television show Big Brother, has a controversial past, having been removed from the show in 2016 following a video that appeared to depict him assaulting a woman.
Despite subsequent bans on social media platforms due to his contentious statements, he has managed to amass a following, particularly among young men, by promoting an ostentatious and hyper-masculine lifestyle.
As the case unfolds, public attention will undoubtedly be drawn to the trial, with many eagerly awaiting the outcome and hoping for justice to be served for the alleged victims. The complex web of charges and the high-profile nature of the defendants ensure that this trial will be closely monitored and scrutinized by the media and the public alike.
Follow Alexander Carter on Twitter @AlexCarterDC for more!
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