Aside from selling kids a steaming load of plastic shite (along with a few TV tie-in books) in their “book” catalogues, Scholastic has now pitched their corporate tents in the realms of bigotry, censorship, and homophobia. Glad to see them diversifying in the very competitive world of cartoonish evil. They asked an author to remove some offensive language (understandable, to some degree) from her book and change the protagonists parents from a lesbian couple to a pair of breeders. The author capitulated on the language, but stood firm on the dykes. So Scholastic said they would exclude it from their book fairs.
Luv Ya Bunches, about four elementary school girls who have little in common, but bond over the fact that they’re all named after flowers, is the first installment of a four-book series. But Scholastic says the book, released on October 1, failed to meet its vetting process because it contains offensive language and same-sex parents of one of the main characters, Milla.
The company sent a letter to Myracle’s editor asking the author to omit certain words such as ”geez,” “crap,” “sucks,” and “God” (as in, “oh my God”) and to alter its plotline to include a heterosexual couple. Myracle agreed to get rid of the offensive language “with the goal—as always—of making the book as available to as many readers as possible,” but the deal breaker was changing Milla’s two moms.
“A child having same-sex parents is not offensive, in my mind, and shouldn’t be ‘cleaned up.’” says Myracle, adding that the book fair subsequently decided not to take on Luv Ya Bunches because they wanted to avoid letters of complaint from parents. “I find that appalling. I understand why they would want to avoid complaint letters—no one likes getting hated on—but shouldn’t they be willing to evaluate the quality of the complaint? What, exactly, are children being protected against here?”
The good news Scholastic has rolled over like a good, flip-flopping corporate asshole facing bad publicity and the power of the gay dollar. Yay for online petitions!
Late today we got word, after discussions with Scholastic representatives, that the company has decided to reverse their earlier decision and include the book in their spring book fairs. That’s an awesome victory from one of the biggest and most influential educational book publishers and book retailers in the world, and it sends the clear message that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with two men or two women raising a child.
You can read Scholastic’s full statement right here. The statement doesn’t speak to the reasons they initially excluded Luv Ya Bunches from their book fairs (which was because Myracle included same sex parents and refused to include a heterosexual couple when that was requested by Scholastic), but it does make clear that not only will they be including Luv Ya Bunches in their spring fairs, but they have also affirmed that they “are committed to a review process that considers all books equally regardless of their inclusion of LGBT characters and same sex parents.”