EFFIE BATEMAN | Lifestyle | Contact
As news spreads of Roald Dahl novels having ‘offensive’ language removed to adapt to modern audiences, it appears that beloved Australian children’s author Andy Griffiths has also copped the same treatment, which has included changing half of the book names in his ‘Just’ series (‘Just Crazy’ to ‘Just Intense’ and ‘Just Stupid’ to ‘Just Uninformed’) and the first book of his infamous Bum trilogy, ‘The Day My Bum Went Psycho’, to ‘The Day My Bum Acted Out Of Character.’
Speaking to a publisher from Pan MacMillan Books, The Advocate learns that it’s not unusual for print houses to review the language used in books, and that all changes made did not impact the storyline of Zach Freeman (now Zach Freepeople) and his bum, Deuce.
“Words like psycho and crazy are incredibly ableist against people with mental health issues”, explained the publisher, who wishes to remain anonymous, “and we didn’t want to further stigmatise vulnerable people by normalising these microaggressions.”
“I’d argue that Zach’s bum detaching itself to join a vigilante bum gang isn’t ‘going psycho.’ Moreso, it suggests his bum is feeling disenfranchised.”
“Maybe instead of labelling Deuce, we should look at the reasons why he wants to fill a Bumcano and knock out the human race, so he and the other bums can switch places with their heads?”
“That’s why we’ve also added in notes explaining why Zach’s bum might have been radicalised. What was his home environment like? Was he supported? Did he have a community? Hope for the future?”
“What could Zach and the other humans have done to be more inclusive with the bums?”
“We’ve also removed any words involving unpleasant smells or appearances as having access to showering facilities is a privilege.”
“So the Great Unwiped Bum is just ‘Great Bum.’”
“We’ve made sure to maintain the spirit and humour of the original text though.”
More to come.