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"The hero of Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was meant to be black, the author's widow has revealed. Liccy Dahl told BBC Radio 4's Today programme her husband had written about a "little black boy". But Dahl's agent thought the idea a bad one and insisted the character be changed - something Dahl's widow said was a "great pity". http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-41257684

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Ah, this Roald Dahl? "Despite his towering success, he was chippy about being a children’s author. And he made no attempt to hide his anti-Semitism. In 1983, he announced in the New Statesman that Hitler had his reasons for exterminating six million men, women and children. “There is a trait in the Jewish character that does provoke animosity”, he said. “I mean, there’s always a reason why anti-anything crops up anywhere; even a stinker like Hitler didn’t just pick on them for no reason.”" http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20160912-the-dark-side-of-roald-dahl

 ‎· Micah 1
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My level of confidence that what was edited out regarding characters of colour would have esteemed said author is, well, not high.

 ‎· Micah 3
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Oddly enough, I'm pretty sure I've never read a Roald Dahl book (I only know him from the Gene Wilder movie). I know nothing about the man except for the article I posted (second hand information from a presumably biased source-- his wife) and what Micah posted (direct quote from the author). Thanks for the correction, Micah.

 ‎· bentley
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Nothing wrong with posting the reportage; it opened up a chance to review a fuller picture. I didn't know of the author's bigotry until somewhat recently myself. Thanks, Bentley.

 ‎· Micah 4
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There is this from Wikipedia that muddies the water a bit: "In 1983 Dahl reviewed Tony Clifton's God Cried, a picture book about the siege of West Beirut by the Israeli army during the 1982 Lebanon War.[72] Dahl's review stated that the book would make readers "violently anti-Israeli", writing, "I am not anti-Semitic. I am anti-Israel."[73] Dahl told a reporter in 1983, "There's a trait in the Jewish character that does provoke animosity ... I mean there is always a reason why anti-anything crops up anywhere; even a stinker like Hitler didn't just pick on them for no reason."[73] Dahl maintained friendships with a number of Jews, including philosopher Sir Isaiah Berlin, who said, "I thought he might say anything. Could have been pro-Arab or pro-Jew. There was no consistent line. He was a man who followed whims, which meant he would blow up in one direction, so to speak."

 ‎· MoTO Babycakes
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I also saw this recently, which suggests he was kind of a jerk to his publishers (and includes what @micah quoted): http://lithub.com/when-roald-dahls-editor-decided-he-was-too-much-of-a-prick-to-publish/

 ‎· John B.
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Thanks, all. Funny how I know *about* his books -- so much so that I thought I'd read Matilda, but the plot line is totally unfamiliar -- but nope: I've never read any of them. So I guess I'm spared the disappointment of knowing a beloved author was in life a terrible man.

 ‎· bentley

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