The hosts of “The View” were “torn” on Tuesday over the news that six Dr. Seuss books have beeen removed from publication for “hurtful and wrong” depictions of race.
Sunny Hostin kicked off the discussion by drawing a comparison between so-called “cancel culture” and what she called “consequence culture” and noted that the six books in questions had “racist imagery” of Chinese and African characters that parents and children might find offensive.
Sara Haines said she thought these six books deserved to be pulled from wide circulation for kids — though they might have a place in a museum collection about Seuss’ complete legacy. “There were a lot of works that Dr. Seuss did that were good,” she added, suggesting that the author should not be completely dismissed over these six books. “Our heroes are often flawed.”
She added, “I think it would be better to teach both, to show the great works of Dr. Seuss but also include disclaimers that some of his work was considered racially inappropriate an insensitive.”
Joy Behar channeled Seuss’ penchant for rhyming with a First Amendment defense: “I do not like erasing art, I do not think it’s wise or smart.” She said removing the books also removes the opportunity to use them as a teaching tool as companies have done with “Gone With the Wind.”
Ana Navarro questioned making the Seuss books a priority when so many other issues exist. “I want to see a lot of statues removed and bridges renamed…I want to see equity in getting COVID vaccines, I want to see equity in education, I want to see equity in opportunity before I get to Dr. Seuss,” Navarro said. “I think today there are many, many books that depict children of color — black, brown, all sorts of colors and creeds that weren’t around decades ago that aren’t around for children to read,” but also unapologetically told viewers “I’m sorry, but he’s one of the last ones on my list” when it comes to fixing the wrongs of the past.
Co-host Whoopi Goldberg took a more neutral approach, suggesting that books written in a different time period should come with a disclaimer that makes it clear that our views are no longer the same.
“Put it in the front,” Goldberg said. “This book was written at a time when people thought this was OK. We no longer think this is OK, and that’s why we’re letting you know. It’s like words in a book — you can’t change the way someone saw it. What you saw in 1870 is not the same thing you saw in 2021. So you have to sort of measure it and be aware of it and know and always make the conversation ‘that’s not what we do now. That’s what we did then.'”
Watch the video below.
SIX DR. SEUSS BOOKS CEASING PUBLICATION: After six of Dr. Seuss’ titles discontinue publication over racist imagery seen in the children’s books, the co-hosts react and question if it’s a part of cancel culture. https://t.co/ZQn7XaEAOk pic.twitter.com/rIv4ECh8qC
— The View (@TheView) March 2, 2021