Dr. Seuss museum pulling mural after complaints it depicted 'jarring racial stereotype'

Dr. Seuss museum pulling mural after complaints it depicted 'jarring racial stereotype'
Posted at 1:56 PM, Oct 10, 2017

A mural at a museum showcasing the work of Dr. Seuss will be replaced after several children's book authors complained that it was racist.

The painting, which featured illustrations from Seuss's first book, 1937's "And to Think I Saw It on Mulberry Street," included a depiction of a Chinese man, which was described by some as a "jarring racial stereotype."

On Oct. 5, authors Mike Curato ("Little Elliot, Big City"), Mo Willems ("The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog!" and Lisa Yee ("DC Super Hero Girls" series) decided not to attend a children's book festival that was scheduled to be held at the Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum in Springfield, Massachusetts on Oct. 14.

In an open letter, the trio said it was skipping the event because of the mural, which they described as "deeply hurtful" because of its depiction of a Chinese man as having "chopsticks, a pointed hat and slanted slit eyes."

The authors — two of whom are Asian Americans — said that while the drawing could have been considered "amusing to some" when the book was published in 1937, "it is obviously offensive in 2017," when the mural was painted.

"Displaying imagery this offensive damages not only Asian American children, but also non-Asian kids who absorb this caricature and could associate it with all Asians or their Asian neighbors and classmates," the letter reads.

On Oct. 7, the museum announced it would replace the mural, according to the Associated Press.

The museum opened its doors in June.

Clint Davis is a reporter for the Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @MrClintDavis. Keep up to date with the latest news by following @ScrippsNational on Twitter.