Netflix is “canceling” its services. Dr. Seuss died a year after six of his famous children’s books were pulled from the market due to allegedly racist imagery.
On Tuesday, Netflix announced the creation of five new animated preschool series based on famous Seuss books, including “Horton Hears a Who!”; “The Sneetches”; “Wacky Wednesday”; “Thidwick The Big-Hearted Moose”; and “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.”
The project is Netflix’s latest collaboration with Dr. Seuss Enterprises. Netflix released an animated version of “Green Eggs and Ham” in 2019, with the second season set to premiere on April 8.
According to Netflix, the new preschool episodes will “explore themes of diversity and respect for others, all told through fun and engaging stories that incorporate Dr. Seuss’ whimsical humor, distinctive visuals, and rhythmic style.”
“Dr. Seuss Enterprises is proud of our collaborative relationship with Netflix,” said Susan Brandt, president, and CEO of the company.
Dr. Seuss Enterprises halted the publication of six works last year due to allegedly racist depictions of minorities.
Photographs by Getty Images
DSE halted the publication of six Dr. Seuss works last year due to concerns that they contained racist imagery.
The company said it canceled six books — “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 Quiz” — because they “portray people in hurtful and wrong ways.”
Three decades after his death, Theodor Seuss Geisel, the real-life author behind the Dr. Seuss series, remains one of the world’s most popular children’s authors.
However, some have criticized his books in recent years for how they portray black people, Asian people, and other groups.
“If I Ran the Zoo” was chastised for portraying Africans as “potbellied” and “thick-lipped,” as one Seuss biography put it.
According to a 2019 paper on Geisel’s work published in the journal Research on Diversity in Youth Literature, it also describes Asian characters as “helpers who all wear their eyes at a slant” from “countries no one can spell.”
And “Mulberry Street,” Geisel’s first children’s book published under his pen name, contains a contentious illustration of an Asian man holding chopsticks and a bowl of rice, dubbed “A Chinese man Who Eats with Sticks” in the text.
DSE announced earlier this month that it had hired an “inclusive” team of writers and artists from “diverse racial backgrounds” to edit a series of previously unseen Dr. Seuss sketches that will serve as the basis for a new line of books.