HomeAsian AmericansCaptain Underpants Author's Book, Spongebob Episodes Pulled for Insensitivity to Asians

Captain Underpants Author’s Book, Spongebob Episodes Pulled for Insensitivity to Asians

Photo by Library of Congress via Wikimedia Commons

A book by “Captain Underpants” author Dav Pilkey has been taken off shelves for racist imagery of the Asian community, and a “Spongebob” episode about a virus been pulled.

Publisher Scholastic Corp announced on Monday that it had halted publication of Pilkey’s book “The Adventures of Ook and Gluk: Kung-Fu Cavemen from the Future,” Reuters reports. The book was first published in 2010.

The book is about a group of friends who set out to save the world using kung fu and ancient Chinese philosophy. Now Pilkey, 55, is apologizing for racist imagery in the book, according to The New York Times.

“But this week it was brought to my attention that this book also contains harmful racial stereotypes and passively racist imagery,” Pilkey wrote in a statement posted to YouTube on March 26. “I wanted to take this opportunity to publicly apologize for this. It was and is wrong and harmful to my Asian readers, friends, and family, and to all Asian people.”

He called the racist imagery “unintentional and passive,” but acknowledged that it was harmful nonetheless.

“I hope you, my readers, will forgive me, and learn from my mistakes that even unintentional and passive stereotypes and racism is harmful to everyone,” Pilkey said in a statement on YouTube on March 26.

Two episodes of “Spongebob” have also been pulled off the air because of inappropriate content. Amazon and Paramount + have pulled “Mid-Life Crustacean,” an episode in which SpongeBob, Patrick and Mr. Krabs break into a woman’s house and steal her underwear, according to CNN.

The streaming services are also pulling the episode “Kwarantined Crab.” In the episode, a health inspector at the Krusty Crab discovers a case of the “clam flu” and quarantines the patrons. Patrons thought to have the virus are shunned and thrown in the freezer.

“We have decided to not air it due surrounding the global, real-world pandemic,” a spokesperson for Nickelodeon told CNN Business.

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