The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre has condemned the late author’s antisemitic remarks in a new statement, saying that his “racism is undeniable and indelible.”
In a post on its website, the U.K. museum said it supports “the apology made in 2020 by the Dahl family and Roald Dahl Story Company for Dahl’s antisemitic views about Jewish people.” The statement will also be displayed on a panel outside the museum’s entrance in Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire.
“We do not repeat Dahl’s antisemitic statements publicly, but we do keep a record of what he wrote and said in the Museum’s collection, so it is not forgotten,” the statement reads.
Since 2021, the museum said it has worked with the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the Jewish Leadership Council, the Community Security Trust and the Antisemitism Policy Trust to provide information and training for its staff.
“We want to keep listening and talking to explore how our organization might make further contributions towards combatting hate and prejudice, supporting the work of experts already working in this area, including those from the Jewish community,” the museum said. “Roald Dahl’s racism is undeniable and indelible but what we hope can also endure is the potential of Dahl’s creative legacy to do some good.”
One of the most prolific figures in children’s literature in the 20th century, many of Dahl’s works have been adapted for film and television, including “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” (the basis of Timothée Chalamet’s upcoming “Wonka”), “Matilda,” “Fantastic Mr. Fox” and more. In 2021, Netflix acquired the Roald Dahl Story Company, which spurred a film version of “Matilda the Musical” and Wes Anderson’s upcoming “The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar.”
However, in his later years, Dahl stirred controversy for making antisemitic remarks. His works have also come under review for their content, as publisher Puffin U.K. announced in February that it had edited out phrases like “enormously fat” from his books. This move was met with backlash, with figures of the literary community, including Salman Rushdie, calling it censorship. Puffin then decided to release his original texts in a separate collection, saying at the time that “readers will be free to choose which version of Dahl’s stories they prefer.”
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