Dr. Seuss Enterprises has announced that six of the famed author's books will stop being published due to racist and insensitive imagery.
On Tuesday, which marks "Read Across America Day" and the late author's birthday, Dr. Seuss Enterprises told the Associated Press that titles including And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street and If I Ran the Zoo will no longer go into distribution.
"These books portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong," Dr. Seuss Enterprises, the company committed to preserving the work of Theodor Seuss Geisel, whose pen name is Dr. Seuss, told the outlet.
"Ceasing sales of these books is only part of our commitment and our broader plan to ensure Dr. Seuss Enterprises' catalog represents and supports all communities and families," the company added.
Other affected titles include McElligot's Pool, On Beyond Zebra!, Scrambled Eggs Super!, and The Cat's Quizzer.
The decision to halt publication of the books was made last year after months of deliberation, Dr. Seuss Enterprises said.
"Dr. Seuss Enterprises listened and took feedback from our audiences including teachers, academics and specialists in the field as part of our review process. We then worked with a panel of experts, including educators, to review our catalog of titles," the company added.
While Dr. Seuss continues to be adored around the world, this isn't the first time he has received criticism for using insensitive imagery in his beloved books.
In 2019, a study argued that many of the author's classic children's books are racist and problematic — and only two percent of his characters represent people of color.
However, Dr. Seuss Enterprises, added that it is "committed to listening and learning and will continue to review our entire portfolio."
Many school districts have also decided to no longer promote Dr. Seuss's books on Read Across America Day, including Loudon County, Virginia.
"Research in recent years has revealed strong racial undertones in many books written/illustrated by Dr. Seuss," the school district said in a statement.
On Monday, President Joe Biden also refrained from mentioning the late children's author in his Read Across America Day proclamation.
While previous presidents have highlighted the author in their annual proclamations, Biden did not disclose why he left Dr. Seuss out of his message.
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