‘Racist’ short story about Chinese boy ‘Brian Wong’ is axed from new edition of David Walliams’ children’s book for furthering ‘harmful stereotypes’
- Publisher to remove story of Chinese character in ‘The World’s Worst Children’
- HarperCollins confirmed story will be updated in David Walliams book next year
- The unusual move comes after meeting with podcaster and writer Georgie Ma
- Walliams joined elite list who sold over £100 million worth of books back in 2019
A story about a Chinese boy in David Walliams’s book ‘The World’s Worst Children’ is set to be removed and updated by next year, after drawing criticism for containing ‘harmful stereotypes’.
HarperCollins confirmed they will be removing the story of ‘Brian Wong Who Was Never, Ever Wrong’ from the next edition of the book, which will be released in March 2022, following a meeting with campaigner and podcaster Georgie Ma.
The book, which was illustrated by Tony Ross, was from Walliams’ first short story collection ‘The World’s Worst Children’ and published back in May 2016.
Publisher to remove story of Chinese character in ‘The World’s Worst Children’ book by David Walliams (Pictured)
After reading the book back in February, Georgie Ma was outraged of the ‘stereotypes’ drawn upon in the book and posted on Instagram (Above)
HarperCollins confirmed they will be removing the story of ‘Brian Wong Who Was Never, Ever Wrong’ from the next edition of the book, which will be released in March 2022
However the short story drew criticism from Georgie Ma, who has a podcast called Chinese Chippy Girl, for its ‘casual racism’ and is now set to be removed from all future editions of the book.
Speaking to The Bookseller, Georgie Ma said: ‘Wong’ and ‘wrong’ are two words that are commonly used in playgrounds to pick on someone if their surname is Wong.
‘Even just the way Brian has been illustrated. He wears glasses, he looks like a nerd, he’s got small eyes… they’re all harmful stereotypes.
‘The overall character plays on the model minority myth where Chinese people are nerdy, swotty and good at maths, we’re not confrontational and we’re high achievers.
‘It was just really disappointing to read about that. Personally for me, because I have a toddler, I don’t want her being absorbed in these stories where Chinese culture is misrepresented.’
In a statement, HarperCollins confirmed: ‘In consultation with our author and illustrator we can confirm that a new story will be written to replace ‘Brian Wong’ in future editions of The World’s Worst Children.
‘The update will be scheduled at the next reprint as part of an ongoing commitment to regularly reviewing content.’
After reading the book back in February, Ms Ma was outraged by the ‘stereotypes’ drawn upon in the story.
Speaking on her Instagram, she said: ‘Brian has been illustrated because you can see it’s just got the stereotypical small eyes, and the glasses, and it’s just complete casual racism.
Ms Ma (Pictured), who has a podcast called Chinese Chippy Girl, for its ‘casual racism’ and is now set to be removed from all future editions of the book
HarperCollins confirmed ‘the book update will be scheduled at the next reprint as part of an ongoing commitment to regularly reviewing content’
‘It just reminds me of the comics that white supremacists have telling Chinese people to go back to China.’
She added: ‘There are so many racists jokes on ESEA (East and Southeast Asian) community with the surname Wong and associating it with wrong. I don’t have enough time to go through what kind of jokes these are but if David Walliams would have done his research, he would have known this.’
This news comes as activist and food writer Jack Monroe has launched a withering attack on David Walliams, labelling the comedian’s popular collection of children’s stories racist and ‘fatshaming nonsense.’
In a blizzard of posts on Twitter she dissected several of Mr Walliams’ best-selling children’s tales, picking out contentious characters and plot developments.
The food writer accused the Little Britain star of ‘targeting the working class’, and said his stories recycled material from the controversial comedy show that made his name.
She began: ‘Small Boy completed his D*vid Walli*ms book collection today, so I finally decided to take a read of the latest. (It’s important to note here I’ve not bought a single one.) It’s like Little Britain for kids. 37m copies sold? Of this sneering classist fatshaming grim nonsense?’ she wrote on her Twitter profile, before adding: ‘a thread will now follow.’
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