Roald Dahl’s Books Get Edited For Language Deemed Offensive; Words Like “Fat” & “Crazy” Removed

Publisher Puffin Books, an imprint of Penguin Books, has edited Roald Dahl’s books in an effort to reflect a more inclusive language. Titles like James and the Giant Peach, Matilda and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory have been altered by modifying words that are now deemed offensive.

In a statement to The Telegraph, Puffin said the changes were made so that the books “can continue to be enjoyed by all today.”

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For example, the character Augustus Gloop from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is no longer referred to as “fat” and is now described as “enormous.” The Oompa-Loompas are gender-neutral and no longer referred to as “small men” but are now “small people.” Additionally, they are not described as “tiny,” “titchy” or “no higher than my knee.”

Miss Trunchbull, the villain in Matilda, is referred to as the “most formidable woman” instead of the “most formidable female.” In the same story, the lead character now reads Jane Austen instead of Rudyard Kipling.

The changes were made by the publisher Puffin in conjunction with the Roald Dahl Story Company, which is now owned by Netflix. Sensitivity readers were hired to review the books in 2020.

James and the Giant Peach had alterations too particularly when the Centipede sings, “Aunt Sponge was terrifically fat/And tremendously flabby at that,” and, “Aunt Spiker was thin as a wire/And dry as a bone, only drier.” The revised versions now read, “Aunt Sponge was a nasty old brute/And deserved to be squashed by the fruit,” and, “Aunt Spiker was much of the same/And deserves half of the blame.”

As society begins to create more consciousness around mental health, words like “crazy” and “mad” were also edited.

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