Sunday, July 15, 2007

Let's Play a Game: Guess the Publisher

Can you correctly guess the U.S. publisher of children's books who asked a German author to edit an illustration of a gallery of art in a children's books so it was breast-free and penis-free?

It's most like one of these guys: DK, HarperCollins, Houghton Mifflin, Penguin, Random House, Scholastic, or Simon & Schuster. Those are the biggies who would be interested in negotiating with the Germans.

For educational purposes (and in what I think is "fair use"), here is the offending frame. Do you see the breasts? the penis?

I know, I'm terribly offended and wouldn't want children to see it. Lord knows what they would do.

One of the fascinating aspects of publishing, particularly children's publishing, is that the staff in publishing companies is most likely entirely liberal but catering to their perception of a conservative public (and always always always avoiding negative publicity and potential boycotts of products). I was once told to change an illustration of two women camping to a woman and a man. Because two women camping would be sexual in some way and offend someone.

Read The Mini Penis Scandal: U.S. Publisher Turns Away from Cartoon Nudity.