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Old 03-30-2021, 05:42 AM   #1
Refractive Reflections
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‘Captain Underpants’ spin-off pulled for ‘passive racism’

‘Captain Underpants’ spin-off pulled for ‘passive racism’

Last Updated: March 29, 2021

https://washingtonnewspost.com/news/...assive-racism/
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NEW YORK — A graphic novel for children that was a spin-off of the wildly popular “Captain Underpants” series is being pulled from library and book store shelves after its publisher said it “perpetuates passive racism.” The book under scrutiny is 2010’s “The Adventures of Ook and Gluk” by Dav Pilkey, who has apologized, saying it “contains harmful racial stereotypes” and is “wrong and harmful to my Asian readers.”

The book follows about a pair of friends 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.

Scholastic said it had removed the book from its websites, stopped processing orders for it 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,” the publisher said in a statement.

Pilkey in a YouTube statement said he planned to donate his advance and all royalties from the book’s sales to groups dedicated to stopping violence against Asians and to promoting diversity in children’s books and publishing. “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,” he wrote. “I apologize, and I pledge to do better.”

The decision came after a Korean American father of two young children started a Change.org petition asking for an apology from the publisher and writer. It also follows a wave of high-profile and sometimes deadly violence against Asian Americans nationwide since the pandemic began.

Earlier this month, the estate of Dr. Seuss said six of his books would no longer be published because they contained depictions of groups that were “hurtful and wrong,” including Asian Americans. The move drew immediate reaction on social media from those who called it another example of “cancel culture.”

Hmmm, this seems so familiar here in these forums, just can't put my finger on it:
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...where they meet a martial arts instructor who teaches them kung fu and they learn principles found in Chinese philosophy.
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Old 03-30-2021, 07:16 AM   #2
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Stupid, stupid and more stupid.
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Old 03-30-2021, 08:13 AM   #3
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I mean, this isn't the first time any of Dav Pilkey's work has had controversy.

A lot of his works' concepts are absurd and been challenged on numerous occasions. Heck, the last Captain Underpants was banned in several elementary schools because of a "gay" reference. In the future, Harold seemingly marries a guy.

I think the charity donation is sound. I'm not defending Pilkey, but a lot of books are off-the-walls, satirical, and low-brow. It's his style and often poked fun at in a meta-sense within the books themselves.

I guess we'll see what happens though.
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Old 03-30-2021, 10:49 AM   #4
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My son loves Pilkey's books so we have Ook and Gluk. I read it yesterday when the story broke. Found this page ironic in hindsight:
Spoiler:


Edit the 1st: I actually skimmed through the Change.org petition and man does the person who is upset come off as very entitled. He posted the petition on late Thursday afternoon and when he hadn't heard back over a weekend acted like they were ignoring him.

What is the male equivalent of a Karen?

Edit the 2nd: Am I reading this right? The petition has all of less than 300 supporters and Scholastic and Pilkey pulled the book from print AND want it pulled from libraries.
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Old 04-02-2021, 03:40 PM   #5
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Was on Archive.org and was looking at a book of authors' biographies. It had an entry on Dav Pilkey. It mentions his wife, Sayuri who was born in China.

So....of course Dav Pilky isn't racist against Chinese people...HE MARRIED ONE!

EDIT: I found her comments on an article posted about the book:
Quote:
3 comments:
Sayuri Pilkey said...
Please reach out to the Korean-American father, Mr. Billy Kim. I believe he is on Twitter and Facebook. Unfortunately, Dav is not on and has never been on Twitter and/or Facebook. It was incorrect of Billy Kim to say that, Pilkey refused to apologize and or make any contributions to AAPI or similar organizations. As soon as Dav heard about the complaint, he set up a FaceTime call with Billy Kim immediately. You may confirm this will Billy Kim. I assure you, this is not an attempt by Dav to salvage his career. He is willing to sacrifice his career for the betterment of children. He decided to give all of his advance for Ook and Gluk and royalties past and future to many diverse organizations which he has been supporting even BEFORE this incident occurred. He has given the entirety of his earnings to various organizations in the past long, long before he was even well-known and continues to support various organizations who seek change. I just want the facts to be reported correctly. Sayuri Pilkey

Saturday, March 27, 2021 at 12:59:00 AM CDT
Sayuri Pilkey said...
I should have clarified in my comment earlier that when Scholastic received Billy Kim's complaint, both Dav Pilkey and Scholastic agreed immediately to pull the book from all markets and cease publication of the book. Dav felt very badly and did not see the passive racism. I didn't see it either and I am Asian. Dav actually researched Kung Fu and he thought he depicted the Asians as the heroes. This is how deep passive racism is in our society and how it's been normalized. Thanks to Billy Kim, it was brought to our attention. Dav Pilkey did not "refuse to apologize" he didn't want to do it publicly only because he thought it would diminish the cause and make it about him instead of the passive racism. And he was afraid people would buy up the books and then sell them on Ebay. That was his concern when speaking with Billy Kim. Billy told him that it would be better to do a public apology so people could be educated especially children who love Dav's books. Immediately after his call with Billy Kim, Dav wrote his public apology, posted it, and notified Billy Kim. I hope you read the book and let us know about any other problems you see in the book. Please also let us know about Native American organizations we can make financial contributions. We hope we can continue this dialogue and we hope to continue to learn and grow from our mistakes.

Saturday, March 27, 2021 at 1:34:00 AM CDT
Sayuri Pilkey said...
I wanted to clarify and if you reach out to the parent Billy Kim he can verify: he posted his complaint about Dav not responding BEFORE he talked with Dav and he posted the incorrect information hours before and knowing that Dav had set up a phone call with him on Thurs. March 25th making his post unfair and incorrect. Billy Kim did edit his post but no one sees these edits or the timeline. Again, Dav does not want people to defend his ignorance. After over 10 years (book was published in Aug. 2010 another incorrect info), Billy Kim on March 22nd, 2021, is the first and only person who complained about the book. I am Asian. I thought Dav depicted the Asians as heroes. The head of We Need Diverse Books, Ellen Oh, loved the book. Dav had 2 Asian editors working on the book. In this long period of almost 11 years, not one person had brought up the passive racism against Asians to Dav or to me. This is the problem. No one noticed until now. Other than intentional misspellings, what are other problems you see in the book? It's a perfect time to continue this dialogue. Again, Dav and I have continued to support organizations for change long BEFORE any of this happened. Dav gave all of his earnings to several organizations in the past. He isn't looking for publicity. We hope we can continue to discuss and learn and grow. Thank you for the work you do for children's literature. Sayuri Pilkey (Dav Pilkey's business manager and partner)

Saturday, March 27, 2021 at 2:49:00 AM CDT
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Old 04-02-2021, 04:07 PM   #6
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I wish the info was clear what the actual misstep is in the book. Esp if it was a guy of Korean heritage, not Chinese, that found issue with it. Maybe there are stereotypes they didn't want to repeat in the article (?), but not saying directly what the issue is just lets people go into a rage over another book being "canceled" and not knowing what the real issue is. Because only mentioning that the characters meet a martial arts instructor who teaches them kung fu and about Chinese Philosophy doesn't sound like the actual problem.


Edit:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jester View Post

Quote:
Sayuri Pilkey said...

Dav actually researched Kung Fu and he thought he depicted the Asians as the heroes.
What was that guy's issue with the Kung Fu part of it then. It's an actual martial art...



I dunno, while I'm generally willing to try to understand the point of view when someone finds a problem with things like this... this one sounds no better to me than if, say, an Irish American has an issue with a portrayal of Scottish people.

Last edited by IndigoErth; 04-02-2021 at 04:17 PM.
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Old 04-02-2021, 04:24 PM   #7
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Here's a direct quote from Kim's change.org petition:
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Upon close inspection, 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 supposed master).
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Old 04-02-2021, 10:56 PM   #8
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Cancel Kung Fu Panda.

Racist piece of crap film.
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Old 04-03-2021, 12:39 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Coola Yagami View Post
Stupid, stupid and more stupid.
Our society is indeed motivated by said ways.
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Old 04-03-2021, 01:17 AM   #10
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Of course "mr. Cancel" is entitled.
This people always are.
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Old 04-03-2021, 01:40 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jester View Post
Here's a direct quote from Kim's change.org petition:
Ah, thank you!
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Old 04-05-2021, 05:22 AM   #12
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I'm pretty tired of cancel culture in recent years. I'd write a long rant about it, but it feels like a waste of my time since most of the commnets in this thread basically cover my feelings on this situation. Since 2016, I'd been hoping this would die down in time. Sadly, it seems things are getting worse now. I don't see less censorship in our future, but more. I hate the current state of the world, however I have no idea what can be done. Protesting seems to do nothing, neither does arguing against censorship like this. I mean, less than 300 people signed this petition yet it was enough to get this book removed from stores and libraries already.
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Old 04-05-2021, 06:29 AM   #13
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There will be rise of Right counter-culture in the future, up until Left will lose power.
Depending on how they lose power, results may vary.
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Old 04-05-2021, 09:06 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jester View Post
Here's a direct quote from Kim's change.org petition:
I'm confused as to how nonAsian people saving someone who taught them the skill racist.
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Old 04-05-2021, 09:48 AM   #15
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I'm confused as to how nonAsian people saving someone who taught them the skill racist.
Just nod and consume or you are a nazi.
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Old 04-05-2021, 01:07 PM   #16
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I'm confused as to how nonAsian people saving someone who taught them the skill racist.
Because they are the non-Asian students saving their Asian master, why should the master, who taught them all they know about kung-fu even need saving?

Man these people would have trouble with several episodes of TMNT where Splinter is captured and rescued by the Turtles...heck the movie would be worse. The Ninja Master is captured and saved by the white male side character who he's never met. #CancelTMNT'90
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Old 04-05-2021, 04:59 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Jester View Post
Because they are the non-Asian students saving their Asian master, why should the master, who taught them all they know about kung-fu even need saving?

Man these people would have trouble with several episodes of TMNT where Splinter is captured and rescued by the Turtles...heck the movie would be worse. The Ninja Master is captured and saved by the white male side character who he's never met. #CancelTMNT'90
You should throw the caveat into these posts at all times that you don't believe the bull$#!( you just espoused on, but instead you are illustrating the ridiculous thought processes that you can see the mob using to justify their newest cancellation.
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Old 04-05-2021, 07:30 PM   #18
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I run nearly 90% of the time on sarcasm anyway. I'm sure most people know I'm playing devil's advocate.
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Old 04-05-2021, 07:34 PM   #19
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I think the ability to do that is part of what makes a good leader, Cap.
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Old 04-06-2021, 02:15 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Sumac View Post
There will be rise of Right counter-culture in the future, up until Left will lose power.
Depending on how they lose power, results may vary.
Right counter culture has been around for decades, nay centuries. Not that I like either side in this mind you.
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