R. L. Stine, author of the popular "Goosebumps" series of children's novels, said that changes made to the language of his books were made without his permission.
The Sunday Times first reported that Stine and his publisher, Scholastic, had made over 100 edits to his famous book series, which has sold more than 400 million copies. The changes sanitize the language, removing references to slaves, language about being "crazy," and language suggesting characters are fat, among other edits.
But on Monday, Stine forcefully pushed back that he had any knowledge of the edits.
"[T]he stories aren’t true. I've never changed a word in Goosebumps. Any changes were never shown to me," Stine said on Twitter.
In a statement, Scholastic confirmed the changes. It said the edits were made several years ago, claiming they were necessary to prevent negatively impacting the mental health of "Goosebumps" readers.
The statement said:
For more than 30 years, the Goosebumps series has brought millions of kids to reading through humor with just the right amount of scary. Scholastic takes its responsibility seriously to continue bringing this classic adolescent brand to each new generation. When re-issuing titles several years ago, Scholastic reviewed the text to keep the language current and avoid imagery that could negatively impact a young person’s view of themselves today, with a particular focus on mental health.
The development comes after numerous Roald Dahl books were edited to appease modern progressive ideologues on topics including weight, mental health, violence, gender, and race.
Publisher Penguin Random House responded to the controversy by explaining that Dahl's books would still be published without changes in a "classic" series of his work. Books with the modern changes will be published under Puffin Books.
"Readers will be free to choose which version of Dahl's stories they prefer," the publisher said.
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