Universal Orlando’s Islands of Adventure theme park is reportedly looking into whether it should rework its Dr. Seuss-themed area following the recent decision to cease publication of some of the author’s books.
As Faithwire previously reported, Dr. Seuss Enterprises announced Tuesday it would no longer print six of the children’s books authored by the late Theodor Seuss Geisel, stating the illustrations and text in the canceled titles “portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong.”
The six books are:
• “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street”
• “If I Ran the Zoo”
• “McElligot’s Pool”
• “On Beyond Zebra!”
• “Scrambled Eggs Super!”
• The Cat’s Quizzer”
Islands of Adventure features a space in the park known as “Seuss Landing,” which includes characters from the author’s books and boasts attractions inspired by his whimsical illustrations, according to Spectrum News. One of the play areas in “Seuss Landing” is themed after “If I Ran the Zoo,” a book sidelined due to the way Asian people are portrayed in it.
The space in the Universal park contains none of the imagery in question.
Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss —
Theodor Gisel! At @UniversalORL’s Islands of Adventure, Seuss Landing is so wonderfully true to the style and spirit of the author — we just may need to celebrate with some green eggs & ham! #islandsofadventure #seusslanding pic.twitter.com/VrOs5ggCyd
— Wishful Thinking (@wishful_thnkng) March 2, 2021
In addition, there is a gift shop in “Seuss Landing” called the “Mulberry Street Store,” named after the also-canceled title, “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street,” which features an illustration of a Chinese man in stereotypical garb alongside the text, “Chinaman who eats with sticks.”
Much like the play space inspired by “I Ran the Zoo,” the “Mulberry Street Store” contains no offensive imagery.
***As the number of voices facing big-tech censorship continues to grow, please sign up for Faithwire’s daily newsletter and download the CBN News app, developed by our parent company, to stay up-to-date with the latest news from a distinctly Christian perspective.***
A spokesperson for Universal Orlando told the local news outlet that “Seuss Landing” has endured as a “very popular” destination for park guests, adding the company “value[s]” its relationship with Dr. Seuss Enterprises.
“We’ve removed the books from our shelves, as they have asked, and we’ll be evaluating our in-park experience, too,” the spokesperson said. “But our guests can plan on continuing to be able to enjoy their favorite experiences at ‘Seuss Landing.’”
BREAKING: Universal Orlando Evaluating Future of Seuss Landing at Islands of Adventure After Publication is Halted on Several Classic Books for Being “Hurtful and Wrong”https://t.co/fx1TO5Ghyp pic.twitter.com/QSZI90br40
— Universal Parks News Today (@UniNewsToday) March 2, 2021
— Attractions Magazine (@Attractions) March 2, 2021
The cancellation of some of Dr. Seuss’ works — as well as the “evaluation” by Universal Orlando — came after President Joe Biden avoided any mention at all of the late writer and illustrator in his proclamation for “Read Across America Day,” which was founded in 1998 and historically celebrates Dr. Seuss’ birthday as well as his noteworthy contributions to children’s literacy.
Biden’s decision not to celebrate Dr. Seuss was an obvious departure from the perspectives of his two immediate predecessors, former Presidents Donald Trump and Barack Obama.
Over the course of his two terms in office, Obama said Dr. Seuss’s writing “challenge[s] dictators and discrimination,” “call[s] us to open our minds,” and encourages readers “to take responsibility for ourselves.” In the final year of his presidency, Obama called Dr. Seuss “one of America’s revered wordsmiths” who “used his incredible talent to instill in his most impressionable readers universal values we all hold dear.”
Nevertheless, last week, a school district in Virginia ordered its teachers to — like Biden — avoid “connecting ‘Read Across America Day’ with Dr. Seuss” at all because of the recent revelations of the “strong racial undertones” in his work.