Music

David Walliams’ harmful’ Chinese character to be axed from books after backlash

David Walliams' children's book has been criticised for including the "harmful" story about Brian Wong, Who Was Never Ever Wrong.

The book, titled The World's Worst Children, was slammed by podcaster Georgie Ma, who claimed the segment about Brian normalised "jokes on minorities from a young age".

Georgie also hit out at the narrative, claiming it created "negative stereotypes" – including his name and even the way the character had been animated.

As a result of backlash, Brian Wong will now be axed from the sequel next year.

The character who is of Chinese heritage is drawn wearing thick glasses and loves mathematics.

In the story, Brian is described as being "the swottiest swot who ever swotted".

Georgie took her concerns to David's publishers – HarperCollins – who confirmed that they would axe the tale about Brian.

The sequel which was written by the BGT judge and illustrated by Tony Ross includes stories such as Nigel Nit-boy, Grubby Gertrude and Bertha the Blubberer.

When speaking to HarperCollins, Georgie explained: "'Wong' and 'wrong' are two words that are commonly used in playgrounds to pick on someone if their surname is Wong.

"Even just the way Brian has been illustrated. He wears glasses, he looks like a nerd, he's got small eyes… they're all harmful stereotypes."

She went on: "The overall character plays on the model minority myth where Chinese people are nerdy, swotty and good at maths, we're not confrontational and we're high achievers.

"It was just really disappointing to read about that. Personally for me, because I have a toddler, I don't want her being absorbed in these stories where Chinese culture is misrepresented."

HarperCollins confirmed in a statement: "In consultation with our author and illustrator [Tony Ross] we can confirm that a new story will be written to replace 'Brian Wong' in future editions of The World's Worst Children.

"The update will be scheduled at the next reprint as part of an ongoing commitment to regularly reviewing content."

Daily Star has reached out to David's representative for a comment.

Source: Read Full Article