If you happened to catch any hour of Fox News over the past couple of days, you may be under the impression that Dr. Seuss getting “canceled” is the biggest news story in America. You probably won’t be surprised to learn that it’s not quite so simple.
As Stephen Colbert explained in his Late Show monologue Tuesday night, Dr. Seuss Enterprises has decided to stop publishing six rather obscure titles from the iconic children’s author because they contain “racist and insensitive imagery.”
“It’s a responsible move on their part,” the host argued. “There hadn’t been an earth-shattering outcry, but they recognize the impact that 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—Black, white, straight, gay, Sneetches both star-bellied and plain, Loraxes, Barb-a-loots, all the Whos down in Whoville and the strange, angry creature called Foo Foo the Snoo.”
Colbert went on to highlight just a few of the Dr. Seuss books that “teach vital lessons to this day,” including the anti-war Butter Battle Book, environmental Lorax and Hop on Pop, which “warns against the dangers of pop-hopping.”
“The Dr. Seuss folks listened to criticism, thought it was reasonable and made what’s called a change,” he added. “Or as it’s known on Fox News: cancel culture.”
After playing a montage that just scratched the surface of how much Fox has obsessed over the story this week, culminating in a full-on meltdown from Donald Trump Jr., Colbert said, “I’m not surprised Don Jr. loves The Cat in the Hat, I’ve always believed he can read at a second-grade level. Also, I think his dad calls him and Eric ‘Thing One’ and ‘Thing Two.’”
Finally, Colbert read aloud from a brand new Seussian book titled “Oh the Books You Can Read,” which began, “So the book news you heard today just got your goose. And now you’re defensive for old Dr. Seuss. If you find that your bookshelf just got a little bit duller, consider these kids books from people of color.”
“There’s lots of new stories you might find quite good,” he continued, “like Imani’s Moon by Janay Brown-Wood. Want more suggestions? No need to keep hopin’. Just pick up Firebird by the Misty Copeland. And this one right here is the real real McCoy, it’s Thomisha 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.”
“So don’t be so cancel-y, culture-y, whiny,” Colbert concluded. “Read these books after pulling your head from your hiney.”
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