Roald Dahl’s Children’s Books Rewritten to Remove Language Deemed Offensive

Character of Augustus Gloop in “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” is now “enormous” instead of “fat.”

Roald Dahl Matlida Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

The latest editions of British author Roald Dahl’s children’s books like “James and the Giant Peach,” “Matilda” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” have been rewritten to remove language that is deemed offensive.

The British newspaper The Telegraph compared the latest editions by the publisher Puffin to older versions of Dahl’s work and discovered the newer versions edited and/or removed parts of the books that described characters “fat,” “crazy,” “ugly” and “black.”

Specifically, “fat” is removed from all of the books, with Augustus Gloop in “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” now described as “enormous.” And those orange-ish workers at Willy Wonka’s factory, those Oompa Loompas are no longer “little me;” they are now gender-neutral “little people.” Likewise, the Cloud-Men in “James and the Giant Peach” have become Cloud-People, according to the paper.

In 2020, Roald Dahl Story Company and Puffin confirmed they began a review of his books and that any changes made were “small and carefully considered.”

“We want to ensure that Roald Dahl’s wonderful stories and characters continue to be enjoyed by all children today,” a spokesperson for Roald Dahl Story Company said at the time. “When publishing new print runs of books written years ago, it’s not unusual to review the language used alongside updating other details including a book’s cover and page layout.”

The statement continued, “Our guiding principle throughout has been to maintain the storylines, characters, and the irreverence and sharp-edged spirit of the original text. Any changes made have been small and carefully considered.”

Additionally, the company noted it worked alongside Inclusive Minds, a collective for people working towards inclusion and accessibility in children’s literature.

Dahl died in 1990 at 74. His books remain top sellers and are still loved by children worldwide.

This isn’t the first time Dahl came under fire. In 2020, his estate issued an apology for his “incomprehensible” anti-Semitic comments.