National MP defends Dr Seuss after books pulled due to 'racist imagery'

A National MP is defending Dr Seuss on social media after six of his titles were pulled from publication due to "racist imagery". 

Dr Seuss Enterprises, which represents the late author and illustrator, made the announcement on March 2 saying, "these books portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong".

The books to be pulled include the first book Dr Seuss ever published as well as And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, If I Ran the Zoo, McElligot's Pool, On Beyond Zebra! Scrambled Eggs Super! and The Cat's Quizzer.

They were pulled from print due to the racist way characters of Asian and African ethnicity are depicted.

Now National MP for Taranaki-King Country Barbara Kuriger has come out in defence of the author, asking Facebook users to: "release the grudge, the hate, the rue, and embrace the hope of Cindy Lou."

Kuriger says she copied the poem from a friend. The post beginning with: "Alas they've come for Dr Seuss, they wish to hang him with a noose. They claim his tales were racist bent, they judged him fast, missed what he meant."

The post then goes on to name some of the author's famous titles, none of which are going out of publication, and the important lessons to be learnt from them.

"But if we look inside his tales, you'll find the balance of the scales. Remember when Horton heard a Who, and we heard the wisdom of the Lorax too. 

"The lesson behind Green Eggs and Ham, that changed the mind of Sam I am. 

"Remember to the rotten Grinch, who once would never give an inch. He taught us lessons, one and all, boys and girls, big and small. His impact was beyond compare, he taught us it was good to care."

"So if you've judged his works as poor, you should re-read them, I implore," the post continues. 

The post was met with criticism from commenters citing the fact that Dr Seuss Enterprises pulled its own books. 

"'They' is literally his estate (including family) who are choosing not to continue publishing some poor selling and problematic books anymore," one user wrote, adding "none of the books in this quote are amongst those being discontinued and the decision was made a year ago by his estate. Get a grip."

"Worth noting that Dr Seuss Enterprises have made this decision themselves and they have only ceased publishing six out of around 40 titles," said another, adding that "claims 'Dr Seuss has been banned' is a gross exaggeration."

"Surely you aren't suggesting the owner of a book should not have the right to make their own decisions, are you?" 

Others took the chance to inform Kuriger that all the books mentioned in her friend's poem were still being published. 

"Yeah, all of the books you're quoting are still being published. Maybe go see what you like about the six being 'cancelled'."

Wellington's The Children's Bookshop owner Ruth McIntyre sells a range of Dr Seuss tales including some of the works to be pulled. She told Newshub on Wednesday those ones have never been the most popular.

"Scrambled Eggs Super - we've probably sold about one over the last year or two."