On Friday, Scholastic Publishing announced that it has stopped the distribution of The Adventures of Ook and Gluk: Kung-Fu Cavemen from the Future by Dav Pilkey for perpetuating “passive racism.”
The Adventures of Ook and Gluk: Kung-Fu Cavemen From the Future tells the story of Ook and Gluk, two cave dwellers from Caveland, Ohio, in the year 50,001 BC. When an evil corporation from the future attacks Caveland, Oook and Gluk (along with their dinosaur friend Lily) have to travel to the year 2222, where Master Wong teaches them the martial art of Kung Fu. Then they have to return to their own time to save the day. It is supposed to be written by Captain Underpants protagonists George and Harold.
The publishing company issued a statement explaining the reason behind the pull, saying: “We are deeply sorry for this serious mistake. Scholastic has removed the book from our websites, stopped fulfillment of any orders (domestically or abroad), contacted our retail partners to explain why this book is no longer available and sought a return of all inventory. We will take steps to inform schools and libraries who may still have this title in circulation of our decision to withdraw it from publication.”
Author Dav Pilkey has expressed full support of this decision. Scholastic’s decision came off the heels of Pilkey’s own apology regarding the book, where he said the book contained harmful stereotypes and racist imagery, “I wanted to take this opportunity to publicly apologize for this. It was and is wrong and harmful to my Asian readers, friends, and family, and to all Asian people.” He also explained that The Adventures of Ook and Gluk: Kung-Fu Cavemen From the Future was intended to show “diversity, equality, and non-violent conflict resolution.”