Woke Sensitivity Readers Go After James Bond by Removing ‘Offensive’ Language From Novels
Hope you own some physical copies of literary classics, because at the rate we’re going no story is safe.
In a move that shouldn’t come as a surprise since sensitivity readers have already gone after Roald Dahl’s classic children’s books, now British author Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels will be undergoing changes and sensitivity reviews as not to offend modern audiences.
Terms including but not limited to racially derogatory language will be scrubbed and swapped out in a new series of editions set to come out in April. In order to not have to face the mob of Twitter millennials who may pick up a Bond novel written in the 60’s and be offended by them, the publisher sought to do this in time to coincide with the anniversary of Fleming’s debut book which launched the Bond franchise, Casino Royale.
According to The Independent, “Some depictions of Black people have also been reworked or removed, but references to other ethnicities, including the use of a term for East Asian people and Bond’s mocking views of Oddjob, Goldfinger’s Korean Henchman, remain.”
The James Bond novels have been edited to remove references to race in a sensitivity reviewhttps://t.co/DUAKQ5H6Ue
— Times Culture (@timesculture) February 26, 2023
Live and Let Edit
By editing out some sections of dialogue and descriptions of characters, they’re stepping on the artist’s integrity. Books, much like any other artwork, are supposed to activate emotion within the read— whether positive or negative.
However, while they say they are editing the books as to no offend modern readers, they’re removing aspects of the characters and stories that add a degree of depth to the fictional world.
The Independent points out that in Live and Let Die, one line which was changed involves Bond’s view of several “African would-be criminals” who are “pretty law-abiding chaps I should have thought, except when they’ve drunk too much.” The new version now reads “pretty law-abiding chaps I should have thought.”
Who is to say the assessment of a fictional character is incorrect? James Bond is a British spy who lived during a different age, can he not remain a relic of that age, good or bad depending on the reader’s own view?
Well, the line of where they decided to or not to change things isn’t clear much either.
Phrases such as the “sweet tang of rape, “blithering women”, “man’s work”, and homosexuality being called a “stubborn disability” have all been kept in. So who are these sensitivity readers trying not to offend? It seems they kept in everything derogatory towards women, Asians, and gay people but they draw the line at Black readers for some reason.
Why not go ahead and change everything? Why not scrap the whole catalogue and canon and make Bond a blue haired, fat, liberal feminist woman who sells state secrets? Why not make him entirely a reflection of the woke new world order?
Ian Fleming's James Bond books are being rid of certain racial references, just days after Roald Dahl's publisher edited sections of his books to remove mentions of 'fat' and 'ugly'. @NIAbbot asks: What do you make of our generation's obsession to rework and censor the past? pic.twitter.com/sLLuvqXrrQ
— LBC (@LBC) February 27, 2023
Censor Another Day
It seems the publisher wants to have their cake and eat it too, and with the knowledge that their changes won’t be substantially woke or politically correct for some, have added a disclaimer at the beginning of these new editions.
The disclaimer states, “This book was written at a time when terms and attitudes which might be considered offensive by modern readers were commonplace.
“A number of updates have been made in this edition, while keeping as close as possible to the original text and the period in which it is set.”
In this moment I remember one of my favorite lines from Casino Royale, which reads “History is moving pretty quickly these days and the heroes and villains keep on changing parts.”
Yes, Mr. Bond, they do indeed.
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