Tom Hanks slams woke editing of books for modern sensitivities
Roald Dahl: Ruth Langsford slams ‘dangerous’ changes to books
Tom Hanks has hit out at ‘woke’ culture declaring that he will boycott any books that have been edited for ‘modern sensitivities’.
The Hollywood star’s decision follows publisher Puffin’s announcement that it would remove all language deemed offensive from Roald Dahl’s classic collection of children’s books.
It said words including ‘fat’ and ‘ugly’ would be given the chop and alterations made in areas concerning race, gender and mental health in a bid to allow each story to be ‘enjoyed by everyone today’.
Actor Hanks, 66, has recently made his first foray into the world of literature, penning The Making of Another Major Motion Picture Masterpiece: A Novel, which was released earlier this month.
Now, he says it’s important to understand that times were different when such ‘offensive’ material was written.
“Well, I’m of the opinion that we’re all grown-ups here,” he began. “And we understand the time and the place and when these things were written.
“It’s not very hard at all to say that it doesn’t quite fly right now, does it? Let’s have faith in our own sensibilities here, instead of having somebody decide what we may or may not be offended by…”
He continued: “Let me decide what I am offended by and not offended by. I would be against reading any book from any era that says ‘abridged due to modern sensitivities.'”
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Defending the publisher’s actions, a Puffin spokesman told The Bookseller recently: “Children as young as five or six read Roald Dahl books, and often they are the first stories they will read independently. With that comes a significant responsibility, as it might be the first time they are navigating written content without a parent, teacher or carer.
“It is not unusual for publishers to review and update language, as the meaning and impact of words changes over time.”
The synopsis of Hanks’ work, meanwhile, reads: “A wildly ambitious story of the making of a colossal, star-studded, multimillion-dollar superhero action film, and the humble comic book that inspired it all.”
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