Six books of Seuss are now taboo, but should the theme park go away too?
Following the recent announcement that Dr. Seuss Enterprises will cease production of six Seuss books because of "racist and insensitive images," Universal's Islands of Adventure in Orlando, Florida, is now reconsidering the existence of Seuss Landing—its interactive Seuss-themed area.
A representative from the Universal Orlando Resort confirmed that Islands of Adventure Park is re-examining the characters depicted in its Dr. Seuss-themed area. "Seuss Landing continues to be very popular with our guests and we value our relationship with Seuss Enterprises. We've removed the books from our shelves as they have asked and we'll be evaluating our in-park experience too," a Universal spokesperson said in a statement. "But our guests can plan on continuing to be able to enjoy their favorite experiences at Seuss Landing."
Seuss Landing was opened in 1999 as an attraction that brings to life Seuss's creations for children and their families. It is one of six islands of adventure and includes attractions, shopping, restaurants, and costumed characters. One of the Seuss Landing attractions Universal is evaluating the "If I Ran the Zoo" interactive play area, which is based on one of the six books that were pulled off shelves. The theme park also has a gift store called "Mulberry Street Shop" and a Mulberry Street sign that both allude to another banned book, "And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street."
Courtesy of Universal Studios Resort
The six Seuss books that were discontinued have created a lot of controversy across the nation and "Dr. Seuss is canceled" has been trending across social media. The announcement drove people to buy the books in boatloads. The next day, nine of Amazon's top 10 best-selling books were written by Dr. Seuss and the books' value on the secondary market are through the roof. Some first editions of the books are selling for almost $10,000.
However, not everyone agrees with the decision. One of Seuss's stepdaughters, Leagrey Dimond, spoke out against the decision to cease production of the six stories. Although she didn't condone the inappropriate imagery in the books, Dimond suggested that the books should still be published and simply include a disclaimer at the beginning of the stories. Other entities are finding ways around the cessation of publication.
The New York Public Library announced it will keep the six books in circulation on its shelves.
"As with all public libraries the New York Public Library does not censor books," library spokeswoman Angela Montefinise said.
Instead, librarians at the library will take extra precautions with these stories when planning storytimes, setting up book displays, or making recommendations to readers. Major libraries have also followed suit.
What do you think about the announcement made by Dr. Suess Enterprises? Should Seuss Landing be able to remain at Universal's Islands of Adventure and do you think the books should be pulled off the shelves? Sound off in the comments.