Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme park located in Central Florida is reportedly looking into its Dr. Seuss-themed area in light of the recent licensing and publishing cancelation of a selection of Dr. Seuss books.
On Tuesday, Dr. Seuss Enterprises announced it would no longer print six of the popular children’s books, stating that they “portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong.”
The six books by the children’s author that will no longer be in distribution include “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street,” “If I Ran the Zoo,” “McElligot’s Pool,” “On Beyond Zebra!,” “Scrambled Eggs Super!,” and “The Cat’s Quizzer.”
As reported by The Daily Wire,
While millions of American children have been raised with the books, which include positive messages about tolerance and protecting the environment, some have drawn criticism over the way blacks, Asians and others are drawn. The author has also been ripped for his earlier advertising and propaganda illustrations.
One illustration in the 1937 work “And To Think I Saw It On Mulberry Street” shows a “Chinaman who eats with sticks,” a caricatured picture of an Asian man using chopsticks. Drawings in “If I Ran The Zoo,” published in 1950, shows some black characters resembling monkeys, along with an illustration of an Arab chieftain on a camel with a caption that suggests he should be in a zoo.
Universal Orlando’s theme park includes an area of the park that celebrates Dr. Seuss characters and themes, and it is referenced as Seuss Landing.
Spectrum News in Orlando reports that “A play area in that part of the park is themed after ‘If I Ran the Zoo,’ one of the books that will no longer be published, and includes animals and interactive contraptions from Seuss’s stories. The book has been criticized for its portrayal of Asian people although none of that imagery is featured in the play area.”
Seuss Landing also includes a gift store called “Mulberry Street Store,” which is named after the book, “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street,” which is another book that will be phased out of production.
A Universal spokesperson reportedly told Spectrum News that people will still be able to experience Seuss Landing, but it is reviewing the area.
“Seuss Landing continues to be very popular with our guests and we value our relationship with Seuss Enterprises,” the spokesperson said in a statement. “We’ve removed the books from our shelves as they have asked and we’ll be evaluating our in-park experience too. But our guests can plan on continuing to be able to enjoy their favorite experiences at Seuss Landing.”
The announcement about the cancelation of specific Dr. Seuss books took place on the birthday of Dr. Seuss, whose real name was Theodor Seuss Geisel.
The Daily Wire reports that the announcement also “came on the heels of an anti-Dr. Seuss campaign in Virginia and President Joe Biden’s pointed decision to leave out the prominent American author in his presidential proclamation for Read Across America Day…”
Dr. Seuss Enterprises announced the decision in a statement, saying, “Ceasing sales of these books is only part of our commitment and our broader plan to ensure Dr. Seuss Enterprises’s catalog represents and supports all communities and families.”