A mural at The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum in Springfield, Massachusetts will be removed after complaints it contains a “jarring racial stereotype,” according to Masslive.com.
The artwork appeared in author Theodor Geisel’s first Dr. Seuss book, “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street,” which debuted in 1937.
The Springfield Museums said late Thursday that the mural will be replaced “with a new image that reflects the wonderful characters and messages from Dr. Seuss’s later works.”
“This is what Dr. Seuss would have wanted us to do,” the statement on behalf of Dr. Seuss Enterprises said.
“His later books, like ‘The Sneetches’ and ‘Horton Hears a Who,’ showed great respect for fairness and diversity. Dr. Seuss would have loved to be a part of this dialogue for change.”
Thursday’s announcement came after three children’s authors declined to take part in the Springfield Children’s Literature Festival due to the mural.
Authors Mike Curato, Mo Willems and Lisa Yee of Northampton, Massachusetts said they found part of the illustration “deeply hurtful.”
The trio also vowed they would not attend the Oct. 14 festival, and the event has since been cancelled.
“We find this caricature of ‘the Chinaman’ deeply hurtful, and have concerns about children’s exposure to it,” the group wrote in a letter.
“While this image may have been considered amusing to some when it was published 80 years ago, it is obviously offensive in 2017 (the year the mural was painted),” they added.
“Displaying images this offensive damages not only Asian American children, but also non-Asian kids who absorb this caricature and could associate it with all Asians or their Asian neighbors and classmates.”
The controversial character is described in Seuss’s 1937 book as “a Chinese man who eats with sticks.”
Masslive.com reported that it was not revealed when the mural will be removed and what characters will take its place.
Some Twitter users on Friday criticized the museum’s decision to remove the mural after the complaint.