Recently, several Dr. Seuss books were pulled by the publisher because of the books' offensive imagery and dialog. Some movie studios have also announced that they will review films long-considered as 'classics' for insensitive cultural depictions and problematic representations of race and gender. For many years, these matters affected my life so deeply that I wrote my doctoral dissertation on the subject. So, I applaud the publishers and studios for their proactive steps to ensure inclusiveness in the works they produce.
These issues also exist in more recent works than the 'classics.' During my time in information technology – fresh out of undergrad in the '80s, I came across a manual that used the nomenclature ‘master-slave’ to refer to the way the computer distributed its workload. Such jargon was standard across IT manuals then and still exists in many of them today.
Also today, textbooks of all types frequently cast women as examples of clerks and nurses when there are plenty of men who do similar work now. And many texts and articles refer to poor people as ‘the poor.’ While the references reflect legacies of past norms, their continued use perpetuates stereotypes and promotes objectification of Blacks, women, and poor people.
Given this, textbooks, much like documents, images, and film representations teach us something, albeit subtly at times, about our relative value and status. Since this plays out in schools and offices and potentially affect a company's brand and bottom line, we recommend you review your films and update your scripts, textbooks, and manuals to reflect today’s norms. These steps will mitigate the risk of offending and alienating viewers and readers of the works you produce.
Email us today at email@example.com to begin a sensitivity review of your films, scripts, textbooks, and manuals.