HarperCollins Removes Story From David Walliams’ Book

HarperCollins Removes Story From David Walliams’ Book

David Walliams’ story of a Chinese boy named Brian Wong, who has been criticized by activists for his “casual racism”, will be removed from future editions of his collection of short stories “The Worst Children In The World”.

Walliams’ bestselling anthology, published in 2016, was criticized earlier this year by podcaster Georgie Ma for telling the story of Brian Wong, who tells of a boy who was “never, never wrong” and who was and total chatter. “” There are so many racist jokes in the ESEA community [East and Southeast Asia] with the surname Wong and they associate him with something wrong, “said Ma on Instagram would have known. “

Ma, who said the story was” the normalization of casual racism from an early age, “particularly criticized Tony Ross’s character illustration, and it’s completely casual racism,” he said that white racists tell the Chinese to do so return to China. ”

In May, Ma met with editor HarperCollins with Anna Chan of the Asian Leadership Collektiv to discuss how“ problematic ”the story was. “[We share] our personal experiences of some of the difficulties we faced growing up and being teased as the BBC (Chinese of British Descent).

Stories like Brian Wong’s play a role in normalizing jokes about minorities from an early age and we want that to be removed, ”he said at the time. “We have been open and honest with HarperCollins. We want a fairer representation of the broader ESEA community and believe that books that educate children about diversity should be made fair, rather than joking about harmful stereotypes before it is signed and for information about how diverse the team that is running it created.


Now HarperCollins is ready to remove the story from the next issue of World’s Worst Children, which will be published in March Illustrator, we can confirm that a new story will be written to ‘Brian Wong’ in future issues of The World’s Worst Children, “HarperCollins said in a statement of commitment to periodically review content.”

Ma told The Books magazine, which first reported the change, that she was “grateful” to HarperCollins for the “listening and acting”, adding, “I feel like there are more stories in the book that are being revised have to, but that’s just the beginning … I think it’s great that writers and illustrators want to make books about different cultures but if they don’t have that origin they really need to consult these communities and do their own research to keep them fair

Chan welcomed the change but asked HarperCollins to be more transparent about his thinking. “The first reaction to the removal of the Brian Wong story is a start after our talks earlier this year, but HarperCollins has refused to come up.” to allow anything else to hold them accountable and set an example as a leader in consumer publications “HarperCollins’ to the public about why the story is being removed and changed,” he said. “We believe HarperCollins is more than capable of responding to the above points and demonstrating that it is a strong and inclusive thought leader and ally on these issues. HarperCollins needs to be transparent and take responsibility for the harmful narratives described in their books. “

Walliams’ children’s book, which has sold more than 40 million copies to date, was previously criticized by the author and anti-poverty activist Jack Monroe as a “mocking classicist who shames nonsense”. Monroe wrote on Twitter last year that “a rich white man who uses working-class women as punch lines for his tired old jokes and then passes them on to kids is disheartening.” that Kate Clanchy will rewrite her Orwell-winning book Some Children I Taught and What They Taught Me After Criticism of Her Portrayal of Children of Color.The publisher Picador has not yet announced when the updated version will be released.

“I know that I was wrong about many things and I appreciate the opportunity to write better and with more love,” wrote Clanchy on Twitter in August.

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