The company hired to revise Roald Dahl’s books only uses “woke” consultants under the age of 30 and once employed a project manager who describes themselves as a “non-binary, asexual, polyamorous relationship anarchist.”
Inclusive Minds — a “collective for people who are passionate about inclusion and accessibility in children’s literature” was hired to revise, and in some cases, rewrite entire sections of Dahl’s books, deleting descriptions such as “fat” or “ugly” and ohter terms now deemed offensive.
The organization utilizes “sensitivity readers,” as wellas nearly 100 “inclusion ambassadors” — who range in age from eight to 30 — to remove language deemed insensitive or non-inclusive from texts, the National Review reported.
Publishers and authors pay for the re-edits of their works so they can “represent every child,” and eliminate stereotypes and outdated terms. It’s unclear how much Inclusive Minds was paid to rework Dahl’s beloved children’s books.
Among the progressive editors tasked with revisiting classics such as “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” “Matilda” and “The Witches” was a staffer who described themselves as a “non-binary, asexual, polyamorous relationship anarchist who is on the autism spectrum,” according to National Review.
Jo Ross-Barrett, a former project manager at the company, had earlier boasted on their since-deleted LinkedIn page about being involved in a secretive project involving children’s classics — hinting at the Dahl revisions.
On their page, they wrote about “delivering a large-scale, comprehensive review of inclusion issues and potential solutions for copyright holders and publishers of one of the most famous classic children’s book collections in the world (specifics under NDA until publication),” according to the outlet.
Other activists who worked on the project include the current director of Inclusive Minds, A. M. Dassu, who wrote “Fight Back,” a story of a girl who fights Islamophobia after a terrorist attack, and “Boot It,” about two boys who “tackle racism” on their sports teams.
Another ambassador, Sarah Mehrali, has previously expressed frustration over the lack of Muslim representation in children’s books, writing in a blog post on the organization’s website that by reading stories with only white characters as a child she learned “people of colour don’t go on adventures.”
A spokesperson for Inclusive Minds told National Review its ambassadors don’t make direct edits, but that young people with “lived experience” have valuable inputs to make when it comes to “reviewing language that can be damaging and perpetuate harmful stereotypes”. They also noted publishers have the final say at to what changes they want to make.
Other ambassadors shared their diverse identities and backgrounds in their company bios.
After fierce backlash against editing Dahl’s classic childrens’ works, Puffin Books were quick to backtrack and assured they would still print the original verisions of the books too, so customers can choose.