Abrams Stops Publishing Bad Little Children's Books After Charges of Racism
Posted on December 5, 2016
Abrams books has announced that it will stop publishing the book Bad Little Children's Books: KidLit Parodies, Shameless Spoofs, and Offensively Tweaked Covers after accusations that the book is racist. The book was written by a writer who uses the pseudonym Arthur C. Gackley. The book is a collection of fictional, satiric book covers which take classic book titles and make them into offensive parodies of the original works.Gackely says that the intent of the offensive covers is satire and to parody real covers in a way that exposes racism and prejudice while remaining "rude, tasteless, inappropriate -- or all [of] the above." The book got good reviews initially, but recently it has come under fire from critics who say the book covers are not funny or satiric at all, that they are straight up racist. Gackley says he (or she) has asked Abrams to stop publishing the books because they are being misinterpreted.
The covers all have a Mad magazine or Cracked vibe, and the humor is juvenile. One cover shows a burka clad little girl handing a ticking birthday present to a little boy. The title of the book is Happy Burkaday, Timmy! and it was written by Ben Laden. Another shows a collection of rockets and missiles being fired into space with the title Rockets and Missiles of the Islamic State.
One book is titled Uncle Creepy and shows a male relative making an inappropriate shadow on the wall while a little girl looks on. Go to Sleep Forever shows a little boy smothering an infant. You can see more of the covers here at Book Riot.
Abrams said in a statement, "We have a long record of publishing and promoting creative expression in many forms. We stand fully behind freedom of speech and artistic expression, and fully support the First Amendment. We have been disheartened by calls to censor the book and to stifle the author’s right to express his artistic vision by people we would expect to promote those basic fundamental rights and freedoms."
The publisher went on to say, "However, faced with the misperceived message of the book, we are respecting the author’s request." The National Coalition Against Censorship opposes stopping publication of the book.