Stephen Colbert thinks Dr. Seuss Enterprises’ decision to stop publishing six books because of racist and insensitive imagery was a “responsible move.”
“These books portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong,” Dr. Seuss Enterprises told The Associated Press in a statement that coincided with the late author and illustrator’s birthday on Tuesday.
“Ceasing sales of these books is only part of our commitment and our broader plan to ensure Dr. Seuss Enterprises’ catalog represents and supports all communities and families.”
The books included And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street and If I Ran the Zoo, as well as McElligot’s Pool, On Beyond Zebra!, Scrambled Eggs Super!, and The Cat’s Quizzer.
The “Late Show” host shared on Tuesday’s show, “It’s a responsible move on their part.
“There hadn’t been an earth-shattering outcry, but they recognize the impact these images might have on readers, especially kids, and they’re trying to fix it because Dr. Seuss books should be fun for all people.
“It’s especially important to be responsive like this,” he added, “because Dr. Seuss has also so many books that are lovely and teach kids vital lessons that resonate to this day.”
Colbert then produced a book titled A Late Show’s Oh, the Books You Can Read, with him reading a Dr. Seuss-style poem recommending numerous books you could read instead, penned by people of colour.
He also took a swipe at Fox News for suggesting “cancel culture” had gone too far with the Dr. Seuss news.
Colbert read, “So the book news you heard today just got your goose / And now you’re defensive for old Dr. Suess. / If you find that your book shelf just got a little bit duller / Consider these kids’ books from people of colour.
“There’s lots of new stories you might find quite good / Like Imani’s Moon by JaNay Brown-Wood / Want more suggestions? No need to keep hoping / Just pick up Firebird by the Misty Copeland. / And this one right here is the real Real McCoy / It’s Tomishia Booker’s great book Brown Boy Joy.
“There’s a whole range of books that will make you feel merry / Like this one called Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry. / There’s so many stories, a whole great assort-y / It’s fun to read books written after the ’40s. / So don’t be so cancel-y, culture-y whiny / Read these books after pulling your head from your heinie.”