Roald Dahl’s stories are politically correct now: gender-neutral Oompa Loompas and no more “fat” or “ugly” characters

Some of Roald Dahl’s well-known stories, such as “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “Matilda,” are now politically correct. In the rewritten versions, Oompa Loompas are gender neutral and characters are no longer described as “fat” or “ugly”. This is what he writes in the British newspaper The Telegraph.

Puffin Books, the largest publisher of children’s books in the United Kingdom and much of the Anglo-Saxon world, has recruited sensitive readers to critically analyze Roald Dahl’s stories. Based on their input, hundreds of edits have been made to the original texts. In this way, the publisher hopes to ensure that the books “can be appreciated today by all.”

The characters were made less grotesque by toning down descriptions of their physical appearance. The word “fat” has been removed from each book, so Caspar Slok from “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” is described as “massive.” Oompa Loompas are no longer “little” or “no higher than my knee”, but simply “little” and even gender-neutral: not “little men”, but “little people”. Words such as “crazy”, “black” and “white” were also omitted.

In addition, passages not written by Roald Dahl were added. For example, an extra sentence was added in “The Witches”, specifically in the part explaining that witches are bald under wigs: “There are plenty of other reasons women wear wigs and there’s certainly nothing wrong with that.”


The already popular stories began to be reviewed in 2020, after the new movie from The Witches caused controversy. The fact that the great witch — an evil character played by Anne Hathaway — was missing a few fingers on each hand has angered some Paralympians and organizations. Warner Bros. then had to apologize for this “offensive representation” of people with disabilities.

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Sophie Baker

"Award-winning music trailblazer. Gamer. Lifelong alcohol enthusiast. Thinker. Passionate analyst."

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