Claims of racist images in the iconic Dr. Seuss children’s books are making waves beyond publishing houses, including at a popular theme park in Orlando, Florida, that features an area modeled after the author’s quirky locations and characters. Officials at Universal Orlando said they are “evaluating the in-park experiences.”
This comes after the organization in charge of Theodor Seuss Geisel’s — or Dr. Seuss’s — legacy announced Tuesday it was discontinuing the publication of six of its books because they portrayed people in ways that are “hurtful” and “wrong:”
To that end, Dr. Seuss Enterprises, working with a panel of experts, including educators, reviewed our catalog of titles and made the decision last year to cease publication and licensing of the following titles: And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, If I Ran the Zoo, McElligot’s Pool, On Beyond Zebra!, Scrambled Eggs Super!, and The Cat’s Quizzer.
An Orlando news outlet reported on the development:
In Central Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme park features an area known as Seuss Landing, which includes characters and attractions inspired by the world of Dr. Seuss. A play area in that part of the park is themed after “If I Ran the Zoo,” one of the books that will no longer be published, and includes animals and interactive contraptions from Seuss’s stories. The book has been criticized for its portrayal of Asian people although none of that imagery is featured in the play area.
Seuss Landing also features a gift shop called Mulberry Street Store, which gets its name from “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street,” another book that will be discontinued. There’s also a Mulberry Street sign along the walkway.
Spectrum News reached out to Universal Orlando to see whether Tuesday’s announcement would have any impact on the area. Universal said it’s evaluating the in-park experiences in that area but visitors will still be able to enjoy Seuss Landing.
“Seuss Landing continues to be very popular with our guests and we value our relationship with Seuss Enterprises,” a Universal spokesperson said in a statement. “We’ve removed the books from our shelves as they have asked and we’ll be evaluating our in-park experience too. But our guests can plan on continuing to be able to enjoy their favorite experiences at Seuss Landing.”
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