Late-night TV host Jimmy Kimmel skewered left-wing cancel culture that led to six Dr. Seuss books going out of print — on the birthday of the iconic children’s book author, no less — following accusations that a handful of his imaginary characters are based on racist stereotypes.
What did Kimmel say?
Kimmel hit back on Tuesday’s program with a number of jabs, primarily by riffing that “not only are they pulling some of the books out of print, they’re also tweaking some of the books that are in print to make them more inclusive.”
With that, updated book covers and titles flashed upon the screen as he narrated:
- “For instance, we now have, ‘The Cat in the Problematic Headdress'”
- “How the Grinch Appropriated Native American Culture!”
- “Hop on Pop (With His Consent)”
- “Horton Hears a They”
- “Horton Hears a Misogynist Joke (and Reports it to HR)”
- “There’s a Wocket in My Ethically-Sourced, Sustainable Pocket”
- “No Eggs or Ham,” after which Kimmel quipped, “that’s a vegan thing, I guess”
- “And, “Yertle the Gender Fluid Turtle and Other Stories”
“This is how [former President Donald] Trump gets re-elected, by the way,” he concluded. “Cancel Dr. Seuss, cancel Abe Lincoln, melt down Mr. Potato Head’s private parts, and throw them at the Muppets. This is his path to victory the next time around.”
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The Dr. Seuss titles that were discontinued are “If I Ran the Zoo,” “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street,” “McElligot’s Pool,” “On Beyond Zebra!,” “Scrambled Eggs Super!” and “The Cat’s Quizzer.”
Dr. Seuss Enterprises’ statement on the matter said “these books portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong” and that “ceasing sales of these books is only part of our commitment and our broader plan to ensure Dr. Seuss Enterprises’s [sic] catalog represents and supports all communities and families.”
Still, Dr. Seuss’s stepdaughter Lark Grey Dimond-Cates told Fox Business she hopes the publishing house will eventually start reprinting the books “because his body of work is unique.”
The groundswell against some of Dr. Seuss’ characters has been growing for a while. A study published in 2019 that examined “orientalism, anti-blackness, and white supremacy” in his books purportedly found that 43 out of the 45 characters of color are either stereotypical or otherwise offensive.
Yet as soon as the news hit that the aforementioned books were going out of print, their resale prices skyrocketed on eBay and Amazon.