Captain Underpants Author Self-Cancels Book for ‘Passive Racism’
Dav Pilkey is the author of the bestselling children’s book series Captain Underpants. He also wrote (and illustrated) a spinoff, The Adventures of Ook and Gluk: Kung-Fu Cavemen from the Future, which was published in 2010.
Now Ook and Gluk is unpublished. Scholastic and Pilkey announced last week that the book would no longer be available.
“Together, we recognize that this book perpetuates passive racism,” said the publisher in a statement. “We are deeply sorry for this serious mistake.”
This act of self-cancelation was prompted in part by a Change.org petition that claimed Ook and Gluk was filled with racist imagery of Asians:
I am a Korean-American father of two young children, ages 5 and 7. Both are huge fans of Dav Pilkey, author of wildly popular series Captain Underpants and Dogman, and recently borrowed “Ook and Gluk: Kung-Fu Cavemen From the Future” by the author from their local library.
I realized the book relied upon multiple instances of racist imagery and stereotypical tropes, including a Kung Fu master; wearing what’s purported to be a traditional-style Tang coat, dashes for eyes for the Asian characters, stereotypical Chinese proverbs, and a storyline that has the Kung Fu master rescued by the non-Asian protagonists using their Kung Fu skills (despite the fact that they were taught said skills from the suppos
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