Scholastic discontinues Pilkey’s ‘The Adventures of Ook and Gluk’ due to ‘passive racism’

The publisher and author announced plans to stop distributing ‘The Adventures of Ook and Gluk’ because it includes ‘harmful stereotypes and passive racist imagery.’

Scholastic will stop distributing The Adventures of Ook and Gluk: Kung-Fu Cavemen from the Future, a 2011 graphic novel by Dog Man creator Dav Pilkey, because it “perpetuates passive racism,” they said in a press statement.

The graphic novel includes a character named Master Wong and his daughter Lan, who train the cavemen mentioned in the title. Their character designs, names and personalities perpetuate racist stereotypes toward Asians.

Pilkey has also posted an apology on his YouTube channel. He also said that he and his wife will donate any proceeds from the book to “charities that provide free books, art supplies, and theater for children in underserved communities; organizations that promote diversity in children’s books and publishing; and organizations designed to stop violence and hatred against Asians. These non-profit charities include: We Need Diverse Books, The AAPI, and TheaterWorks USA, among others.”

Scholastic has removed the book from their websites, and said they have stopped fulfillment of any orders. They also have contacted their retail partners to explain why this book is no longer available and seek a return of all inventory. They also plan to contact libraries and schools.

Pilkey’s full apology can be found below:

Hi everyone, I’m Dav Pilkey.

About ten years ago I created a book about a group of friends who save the world using Kung Fu and the principles found in Chinese philosophy. The Adventures of Ook and Gluk: Kung-Fu Cavemen from the Future was intended to showcase diversity, equality, and non-violent conflict resolution.

But this week it was brought to my attention that this book also contains harmful racial stereotypes and passively racist imagery. I wanted to take this opportunity to publicly apologize for this. It was and is wrong and harmful to my Asian readers, friends, and family, and to all Asian people.

My publisher, Scholastic, Inc., has stepped forward to share my responsibility, and together we are ceasing all further publication of The Adventures of Ook and Gluk, Kung-Fu Cavemen from the Future, and actively working to remove existing copies from retail and library shelves.

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. I apologize, and I pledge to do better.

Sincerely, Dav Pilkey

PS. My wife and I pledge to donate all of my advance and royalties from the sale of The Adventures of Ook and Gluk: Kung-Fu Cavemen from the Future to charities that provide free books, art supplies, and theater for children in underserved communities; organizations that promote diversity in children’s books and publishing; and organizations designed to stop violence and hatred against Asians. These non-profit charities include: We Need Diverse Books, The AAPI, and TheaterWorks USA, among others.

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