UK PM Rishi Sunak denounce airbrushing Ronald Dahl's books

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has denounced the ongoing airbrushing of Ronald Dahl’s books to match the modern audience. As stated by PM Sunak’s spokesperson, Sunak believes that the work of fiction should be preserved and not airbrushed. The criticism started when Ronald Dahl’s many popular classic novels were airbrushed to remove some things such as the appearance of characters or their body weights, just to match the modern audience. In the modern world, concepts regarding color and body figures are discouraged from the public discussion as modern audiences consider this as an attack on such personnel. Because of this, Ronald Dahl's estate and publisher made changes to Dahl’s popular works like the BFG and Willy Wonka, and the Chocolate Factory. These changes have been met with mixed reviews, with many approving these changes while many discouraging these changes. 

Ronald Dahl is an iconic novelist from the UK. Dahl’s novels have been part of almost every child across the globe because of their wholesome and engaging way of writing. Because of this, Dahl has been referred to by many as one of the greatest storytellers for children of the 20th century. Dahl’s strong point was his way of explaining things in a unique way which makes picturing the situation in his stories much easier. This is the reason that the fans of Ronald Dahl have commented against these changes as it alters the zest of Dahl’s writing. Sunak’s spokesperson has put forth similar points as the beliefs of PM Sunak. Sunak’s spokesperson said that when it comes to preserving the country's rich and varied literary heritage, no one should “gobblefunk” with the words. The word “gobblefunk” was coined by Ronald Dahl himself, which means playing around with something to alter it and create something new. This suggests how big of a Ronald Dahl fan PM Sunak is. 

Another name to criticize these changes include Sir Salman Rushdie, another British writer who is known for his books, the Satanic Verses and the Midnight’s Children. He took to Twitter to express his rage against Dahl’s Estate and the Puffin Books. He said that airbrushing Dahl’s novels is an absurd form of censorship and that Dahl’s Estate and Puffin Books should be ashamed of doing so. The Roald Dahl Story Company, which is responsible for the management of copyright and trademarks for Dahl, said that any changes to Dahl’s work have come up after a thorough review of his work which has been going on since 2020, and that these changes were “small and carefully considered.” However, many have commented rather abruptly against the situation. 

Philip Pullman, the author of popular books like His Dark Materials and The Good Man Jesus, said if Dahl was so controversial we should just let his work completely fade away rather than taking time and making changes to make it appropriate for today’s audience. Many have called out Dahl Estate to be a money-hungry entity, profiting off of Dahl’s work. Many are claiming that these changes were made for the sole purpose of selling more copies of Dahl’s novels to an audience with a changed mindset. Thus many authors have come forward criticizing these changes.