SPRINGFIELD (CBS/AP) — A Springfield museum dedicated to Dr. Seuss says it will replace a mural featuring a Chinese character from one of his books after three authors said they would boycott an event due to the “jarring racial stereotype.”

The mural features illustrations from the author’s first children’s book, “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street.”

“We find this caricature of ‘the Chinaman’ deeply hurtful, and have concerns about children’s exposure to it,” children’s authors Mike Curato, Mo Willems and Lisa Yee wrote in a letter. “Displaying imagery this offensive damages not only Asian American children, but also non-Asian kids who absorb this caricature and could associate it with all Asians or their Asian neighbors and classmates.”

The museum, which is located in the author’s hometown of Springfield, said Thursday that the mural will be replaced by images from later books.

“Dr. Seuss’s books taught life lessons, from being a faithful friend, to not discriminating based upon appearances, to keeping your promises,” the museum said in a letter to the authors before deciding to replace the mural. “Dr. Seuss was a product of his era and his attitudes evolved over time.”

seussmuseum Dr. Seuss Museum To Replace Mural After Complaints Of Jarring Racial Stereotype

The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum in Springfield (Image credit: springfieldmuseums.org)

The children’s authors declined an invitation to the museum’s inaugural Children’s Literature Festival, which was set for Oct. 14 before being canceled. After the museum offered to take down the mural, the authors said they would attend, but the museum has not said if the festival is back on.

This is the second controversy involving Dr. Seuss in recent weeks.

Last month, a Cambridge librarian rejected Dr. Seuss books donated by First Lady Melania Trump, calling the author “a bit of a cliché, a tired and worn ambassador for children’s literature.”

The mayor of Springfield has since invited the Trumps to visit the museum.


(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments (4)
  1. there is very real racism in this country……I’m liberal, but I think that to worry about a picture in a children’s book that someone sees as racist amount to a hill of beans…..look at the people carrying torches and swastikas…..that, my friends, is real racism. To let a few authors dictate what can or cannot be included in a museum….WRONG! (oh and BTW, Dr.Seuss’ stories have taught generations of children important lessons…..)

  2. What in the world is wrong with an Asian person using chopsticks? By boycotting you act like it’s something dirty.

  3. Tom Gardner says:

    I use chopsticks regularly. I have narrow eyes. I wear a hat very much like that to do my gardening. I guess I am guilty of perpetuating racist stereotypes. The world is becoming a very sad place. No one has the right “not to be offended.” This whole thing of not offending people is creating a very strange country. People who claim to be fighting against hate are searching for anything they could possibly translate as somehow offensive to anyone; then classifying it as racist, and viciously attacking people for being either vile racists or insensitive morons. That is the definition of intolerance. Division. Identity tribalism. It promotes victimhood and is bad for civilization. “Those that care don’t matter and those that matter don’t care.” Great words from a great author. We’ve completely lost that.

  4. IdeClair says:

    ”’“We find this caricature of ‘the Chinaman’ deeply hurtful, and have concerns about children’s exposure to it,” …
    ….despite the fact that it’s been around for decades and no child has ever suffered as a result.

    liberals are lunatics……………………………

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