eBay Is Delisting Dr. Seuss Books Taken Out of Print This Week

Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg, reporting for The Wall Street Journal:

Online marketplace eBay Inc. said it is working to prevent the resale of six Dr. Seuss books that were pulled earlier this week by the company in charge of the late author’s works because they contain offensive imagery.

“EBay is currently sweeping our marketplace to remove these items,” a spokeswoman for the company said in an email. New copies of the six books were no longer for sale online at major retailers such as Barnes & Noble on Thursday afternoon, which put eBay among the most prominent platforms for the books to be sold.

Harry McCracken:

Ending publication of these books is a reasonable move, but I’m not sure about eBay’s logic here, other than avoiding bad PR. Unless it now wants to police its site and remove every old item containing offensive stereotypes, which would be a LOT of stuff.

(BTW, I would also have been fine with Dr. Seuss Enterprises revising these books to remove the stereotypes. They’ve already tampered with the Dr.’s legacy in a zillion ways that bother me a lot more.)

I agree with McCracken on both points. I mean, you can buy copies of Mein Kampf but not If I Ran the Zoo? Banning books is always a sign of out-of-control zealotry.

Thursday, 4 March 2021