James Bond Books Are Being Rewritten To Remove ‘Offensive’ Content

Ian Fleming’s James Bond books are reportedly being rewritten to remove any ‘offensive’ content.
Credit: United Artists and EON Productions

The James Bond books are reportedly being rewritten to remove ‘offensive’ content.

The move comes after sensitivity experts at publisher Penguin wanted to remove certain words from Roald Dahl’s books.

This included getting rid of the words ‘fat’ and ‘ugly’.

However, following a backlash which even saw Queen Consort, Camilla Parker-Bowles, wade into the argument, Penguin will release ‘classic’ versions of Dahl’s novels with his original, unedited words.

Watch news show host discuss changes to Ian Fleming’s James Bond books below…

Now, though, Ian Fleming’s famous spy novels are said to be being edited to remove language that could be deemed ‘offensive’.

Fleming’s books were written in the 1950s and 1960s, and are said to include racist language.

The Telegraph reports that descriptions of Black characters have now been ‘reworked’ or ‘removed’.

However, references to other ethnicities – like Bond’s racial slurs against Asian people and his opinions of Goldfinger’s Korean sidekick, Oddjob – are believed to be staying put.

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Phrases like the ‘sweet tang of r***’, ‘blithering women’ failing to do ‘a man’s work’ and homosexuality being a ‘stubborn disability’ are also set to remain in the books.

In the reworked novels – reissued in April to celebrate 70 years since Fleming’s first Bond book, ‘Casino Royale’ – a disclaimer will appear at the beginning. 

The disclaimer will read: “This book was written at a time when terms and attitudes which might be considered offensive by modern readers were commonplace. 

“A number of updates have been made in this edition while keeping as close as possible to the original text and the period in which it was set.”

Ian Fleming
Ian Fleming’s James Bond books are reportedly being rewritten to remove ‘offensive’ content. Credit: Alamy

Many have taken to social media to slam the changes, just as was the case with Penguin’s proposed Dahl edits.

One person wrote on Twitter: “What’s next? The Bible? Any book tampered with should not in any way be sold under the original title!

“Wokeness needs to be stamped out, and replaced with common sense.”

Another said: “You realise that this is what Orwell warned us of in 1984?”

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With Dahl’s books, and prior to its U-turn, Penguin sought to remove the word ‘fat’ from all of his works, instead referring to ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ character Augustus Gloop as ‘enormous’.

Changes would have also been made to terms describing groups of people, as in earlier versions of Dahl’s books many groups were simply labelled ‘men’.

Penguin is pushing to use more gender-neutral and inclusive language, which would have seen the Oompa Loompas described as ‘small people’ instead of ‘small men’, and the ‘Cloud-Men’ in ‘James and the Giant Peach’ would have been ‘Cloud-People’.

The backlash was so severe, though, that the publisher changed their minds about the edits. 

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Dahl, who died in 1990, once said he would never write another word if publishers decided to change his language.

He’s reported by The Guardian to have said: “I’ve warned my publishers that if they later on so much as change a single comma in one of my books, they will never see another word from me. Never! Ever!”

The comments, apparently made over 40 years ago, claim Dahl even threatened to send the ‘enormous crocodile’ from his book of the same name to ‘gobble them up’ if they did.

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