Home » Publisher to edit out racist references in James Bond novels

Publisher to edit out racist references in James Bond novels

by The Grio

The publisher of James Bond novels is implementing some adjustments by removing racial references from a number of the books, with some representations of Black people being altered or eliminated as a result.

According to The Telegraph, Ian Fleming Publications Ltd., which owns the rights to Ian Fleming’s works, requested that sensitivity readers evaluate its classics.

Bond literature has been altered in the past to appeal to various markets, with the author allowing editor Al Hart to reduce the intensity of the sex scenes for American readers.

In a statement, Fleming Publications said it examined the text in some of the original Bond books and determined that following Fleming’s direction was the best course of action.

“Following Ian’s approach,” the publisher said in a statement, The Telegraph reported, “we looked at the instances of several racial terms across the books and removed a number of individual words or else swapped them for terms that are more accepted today but in keeping with the period in which the books were written.”

The revised texts have almost entirely done away with the N-word, which Fleming used to refer to Black people when he wrote in the 1950s and 1960s. The most common replacement used is “Black person” or “Black man,” but the texts entirely abandon racial characterizations in some cases.

Outdated allusions to certain racial groups still exist, however, such as Bond’s terms for East Asians and the spy’s unfavorable opinions of Oddjob, Goldfinger’s Korean henchman. There are also still references to the “sweet tang of rape,” “blithering women” not being able to do a man’s job, and homosexuality being a “stubborn disability.”

In the sensitivity reader-approved version of “Live and Let Die,” the wording “pretty law-abiding chaps I should have thought, except when they’ve drunk too much” is changed to drop the…

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