Little Britain's David Walliams called out for 'harmful' racial stereotypes and 'classism’ in his children’s books

Sanjana Varghese
Monday 06 July 2020 14:15
news
(Getty Images)

British comedian David Walliams’ wrote a series of books for children – and they leave a lot to be desired.

Food writer and cook Jack Monroe, also known as the Bootstrap Cook, tweeted about their experiences reading Walliams’ books for children, which he’s been writing since 2006. Some people compare them to Roald Dahl’s writing style – they often feature young children, and scary adults – and they have been hugely popular.

Walliams is best known for his work on Little Britain along with comedians like Matt Lucas. He’s recently been criticised for several racist caricatures on his TV shows, which he often had a hand in co writing.

Many of the books seem to rely on outdated, untrue stereotypes about working class people and single parents, and don’t pass on a particularly positive message to children about the people around them.

One of them, as Monroe explains, is about a single mother who’s somehow "one of the world’s worst parents".

Several of the characters that feature in these books seem to rely on stereotypes about people and groups that Walliams isn’t a part of.

Several of the books also feature racial stereotypes and jokes that just aren’t funny in the slightest.

Monroe wonders why Walliams bothered making these in the first place – and what kind of a message these children's books send to kids.

Monroe points out that these children's books can cause more damage than people realise, and that children's books shouldn’t be subject to casual bigotry just because they can be.

Walliams has written over 40 books, many of which are intended for children, and has been a best-selling author for over a decade.

People pointed out that the situation around children's books has changed greatly in the last decade, and that there are many more inclusive authors and interesting books to get children into reading – someone even started a thread of alternatives.

In recent years, Walliams has continued to write, as well as work as a judge on Britain’s Got Talent and as a voice actor on Teletubbies.

Trending