A museum dedicated to Roald Dahl, the British best-selling author, has condemned his anti-Semitic views and said his racism is “undeniable and indelible”.
in A statement posted on its website This week, the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Center near London said it “condemns all racism directed against any group or individual” and that it fully supports a statement made by the author’s family and estate in 2020 apologizing for antisemitism.
Dahl, who wrote several beloved children’s books, including “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” “Matilda,” and “The Fantastic Mr. Fox,” was a self-proclaimed anti-Semite who made disparaging remarks about Jewish people on multiple occasions. He died in 1990 at the age of 74.
The Museum, in its former home in Great Missenden, England, is an independent charity founded by Dahl’s widow, Felicity Dahl, in 2001.
The organization said it is working to become more welcoming by conducting comprehensive and affordable recruitment campaigns for staff and trustee positions. “We’re working hard to do better and know we have more to do,” the museum said.
Since 2021, the museum said, it has been working with several Jewish organizations and staff and trustees who have received training from the Antisemitism Policy Fund.
“We want to continue listening and speaking to explore how our organization can make further contributions to combating hate and prejudice, and to support the work of experts already working in this area, including those from the Jewish community,” the museum said.
Dahl’s legacy as a children’s author has become increasingly complex.
His work has been described as antisocial, brutal and anti-feminist. In February it was announced that new editions of his works had been rewritten in an effort to make them less offensive and more inclusive. It was reported that hundreds of words, including descriptions of characters’ appearances, genders, and sexualities, had been removed from some of his books. Some called the changes ridiculous while others said they were annoyed by them.
A spokesperson for British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, referring to a work by Dahl, he told the BBC At the time, “when it comes to our rich and varied literary heritage, the PM agrees with the BFG that we should not gorge ourselves on words.”
Despite the criticism, Dahl’s works remain staples for young readers and are regularly reimagined for the silver screen. The third film adaptation of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” starring Timothée Chalamet, Olivia Colman and Hugh Grant, is scheduled for release this year.
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