Goosebumps Books Getting Woke Edits Without Author Approval
Goosebumps Books Getting Woke Edits Without Author Approval
First, the publishers tried sanitizing Roald Dahl. Then the publishers moved on to neutering and cleaning up after Ian Fleming’s James Bond. At least the publishers could say that since the authors were deceased, their estates had “approved” of the changes. There is no explanation for the new “updated” and woke editing by Scholastic Books to R.L. Stine’s “Goosebumps” series.
The Times of London discovered that what has been happening to the Roald Dahl collection and the James Bond novels was now happening to the kids horror series “Goosebumps,” written by R.L. Stine. The series debuted in July 1992 (disclaimer: I have never read any of them as I was older than the targeted age at the time of publication, and horror has never been my jam) and were hugely popular. According to the Times of London, the “Goosebumps” series was recently re-released in ebook format – and has now been “cleaned up” of all that “offensive” and “hurtful” language for new readers. You know, words like “crazy,” and “plump.”
The children’s horror novels now include more than 100 edits such as a character being described as “cheerful” rather than “plump”, references to villains making victims “slaves” have been removed and “crazy” has been changed to “silly”.
In one story about aliens abducting large people and eating them, a character described as having “at least six chins” is now “at least six feet six”.
Another book has removed a reference to wolf-whistling while another character has been stripped of descriptions such as resembling a “bowling ball” and having “squirrel cheeks”.
In one of the novels a character wearing a Halloween costume and dressed as “a dark and stormy night” no longer wears black face paint.”
Attack of the Jack-O’-Lanterns, first published in 1996, described a character as “tall and good-looking, with dark brown eyes and a great, warm smile. Lee is African-American, and he sort of struts when he walks and acts real cool, like the rappers on MTV videos.” However, now he is “tall and good-looking, with brown skin, dark brown eyes and a great, warm smile. He sort of struts when he walks and acts real cool.”
In the same book, which features a storyline about large people being abducted and eaten by aliens, a pair of twins are no longer called “roly-poly” by another character.”
Similarly, the line: “All four people were very overweight. The first one, a bald man in a bulging turtleneck sweater, had at least six chins!” has been changed. It now reads: “All four people were huge. The first one, a bald man in a bulging turtleneck sweater, had to be at least six foot six!”
When this story broke, fans took to Twitter and asked R.L. Stine what was happening. Because, after all, HE IS STILL ALIVE, unlike Dahl and Fleming. Surely these edits were being made with his approval, right?
Lindsey, the stories aren’t true. I’ve never changed a word in Goosebumps. Any changes were never shown to me.
— R.L. Stine (@RL_Stine) March 6, 2023
Nope! According to Stine himself, these changes were being made by Scholastic without his input or approval. And Scholastic confirmed that they were doing the edits, because the books needed updating for modern kids’ “mental health.”
Scholastic confirmed to The Post on Wednesday that it had made changes to the series that “has brought millions of kids to reading through humour with just the right amount of scary.”
“Scholastic takes its responsibility seriously to continue bringing this classic adolescent brand to each new generation,” a rep said.”
“Scholastic reviewed the text to keep the language current and avoid imagery that could negatively impact a young person’s view of themselves today, with a particular focus on mental health.”
R.L. Stine continues to stand by his statement that he was never consulted about the changes to the text.
Goosebumps author sets the record straight. https://t.co/tmZj122BtI
— R.L. Stine (@RL_Stine) March 7, 2023
And now we have entered into the next phase of the Orwellian horror show that we are currently living through. Now, works are being “sanitized” while the original author is still living, and can actively comment on the changes made to their text. We are living perpetually in “Year Zero,” and those in charge of the publishing houses now have instant control over the words on the pages. They can edit and rewrite with the simple push of a button, thanks to ebooks and digital readers. Even after the Roald Dahl backlash, where Penguin had to eventually back off and say that they will be publishing a “classic collection” of Dahl’s books (which will likely be sold as a giant set and cost far more than buying books individually, because what good is it for them to look like spineless wusses unless they can make more money off it?), those who owned ebooks were suddenly finding that their digital copies were being “updated” with the new, woke version. And once an ebook is changed within the digital system, you have no option to “roll back” to a previous edition. What you once bought has now been changed, without your permission. It’s no different than the publisher knocking on your door, taking your hard copy of a book, and whipping out a Sharpie. And just who are these people that the publishers are asking to make the edits?
If you're wondering who bowdlerized Roald Dahl, meet "an autistic, non-binary, asexual, polyamorous relationship anarchist." https://t.co/6C1APj40fO
— Andrew Sullivan (@sullydish) March 2, 2023
Here are the lead henchmen (can we still say henchmen? Or does it have to be henchpeople? Henchfolx?) that The Party is employing to rewrite history and censor art before our very eyes. Only the most wise and stable and just among us may apply.
So who made these decisions about what future generations are entitled to read?”
The bowdlerization was done with the blessing of Dahl’s estate by the U.K.-based consultancy Inclusive Minds, which is dedicated to “inclusion and accessibility in children’s literature.” The organization’s mission is to make mainstream books “represent every child.” Guided by this mandate, the nonprofit enlists “sensitivity readers” and “inclusion ambassadors” to rid children’s stories of supposed stereotypes and derogatory connotations.”
The ambassadors range in age from eight to 30 years old and are drawn “from marginalized, under-represented or misrepresented groups and backgrounds,” according to the Inclusive Minds website. As of 2021, the organization contracted with nearly 100 ambassadors, who are tasked with connecting with children’s book creators to provide input and advice on new books.”
No, “Goosebumps” is not high art. These are pulp horror chapter books that were written for kids. That doesn’t mean that they are any less beloved by their fanbase, or those who read them in their initial publication run. The point remains that if this can happen to “Goosebumps,” without the permission of the author, then it’s time to go straight after the publishing houses that are making these woke editorial changes. How long do you think it will take for a publisher like DW Books to start printing unabridged and unedited versions of classics in the public domain and making a mint off them? That is where we are headed. And apparently, we can’t get there fast enough.
Start hitting up used bookstores and eBay, everyone, in order to preserve what once was. Stand the aisles of your local bookstore and check the text for the woke edits before buying that copy of “Matilda.” Don’t be afraid to return a book to Amazon or Barnes & Noble if you end up getting an edited copy. All you need to say is, “This isn’t the version I want.” Do not trust that your ebook will never be changed. Use the power of the purse to punish the publishers.
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‘And Scholastic confirmed that they were doing the edits, because the books needed updating for modern kids’ “mental health.”’
I didn’t know that book publishers were trained in psychiatry so as to be able to assess/diagnose and ‘treat’ otherwise normal children for presumed mental illness or disturbance. Then again it’s likely that being a ‘normal’ child is a threat to the progressives who like to ‘pathologise’ all that is normal in developing children so as to justify their own creepy agenda to reshape the world to their own perverted ways. As GWB has said a number of times the progressive left are essentially self-indulgent hedonists.
The Goosebump books were a god send to me to get my son to enjoy reading. He LOVED them (as well as the Hank the Cowdog books which I’m sure will be the next to be sanitized). There aren’t a whole lot of books for boys who don’t like sports.
Why do they think it’s the right wings that are the censors? Isn’t this the same thing?
As an aside, can the authors sue the publishers or are the publishers the owners of the text?
I know it’s not the topic, but…
“asexual, polyamorous relationship anarchist.”
Aren’t these “identities” kind of contradictory?
Kind of like
“anti sports, also pitcher and hitter”
Liz consider that for many decades autistics were frequently diagnosed as schizophrenic due to variable, apparently unpredictable and sometimes bizarre presentation in different social settings. In short autistics reference the ‘social face’ they present to the rules and conventions for each different social setting. Autistics are wonderful mimics and watch and copy the presentation of others so as to pass through each setting with minimal fuss and confrontation. Thus their presentation is often dramatically different in each different setting and with different people which confuses those who thought they knew a given autistic individual.
For such a woman to be on a panel making rulings about books written by a neurotypical author for neurotypical children in relation to what is socially acceptable is ridiculous. She, as an autistic, can have superficial understanding at best about the Meaning of Life for the sentimental society of the majority. Autistics have great difficulty in reading the minds of the ‘normal’ majority due their inability to empathise meaning read and process emotional-based behaviour hence research about autistics and how they develop a ‘theory of mind’ for/in other people. At best the understanding of the minds of neurotypical people by autistics is shallow and rule-based.
[I and my brother are both autistic; I also spent 40 years working intensively with very many autistic children and adults as well as being a mainstream primary and secondary teacher for some years.]
Interesting. I did not know this. Thanks for the response, NTSOG.
I’m eschewing ebooks and buying books on paper now. I wonder if these wokeists know how many more trees they’re responsible for killing…
Funny how liberals accuse us of being sensitive and scared of everything but lead the charge in censorship.