RICHARD LITTLEJOHN: The worlds of publishing and entertainment are in thrall to an intolerant cult
Foyle’s War creator Anthony Horowitz has fallen foul of the woke police. His latest novel has been censored by ‘sensitivity readers’ employed by his U.S. publishers.
They objected to his use of the word ‘scalpel’, which they claimed was offensive to Native Americans, even though it comes from the Latin scalpellus, meaning to cut, and has nothing to do with scalping.
Not that Horowitz’s novel, With A Mind To Kill, has anything to do with the Wild West. It’s the third in his series of James Bond thrillers, after he picked up the baton from the late Ian Fleming, and is set largely in Russia and Eastern Europe. Not too many Navaho living in Leningrad, the last time anyone looked.
Oh, and the scalpel in question belonged to an actor playing a doctor. That, too, proved ‘problematic’. The sensitivity brigade struck out a description of the same character as having a face ‘that could have been carved out of wood’.
This was taken as a reference to statues of ‘cigar store Indians’ which once stood outside virtually every tobacconists’ in America, like those models of children in leg irons which used to pop up outside Woolworths on British High Streets, to raise money for Dr Barnardo’s Homes.
I’m only surprised that they didn’t also complain about an actor playing a doctor because he lacked the relevant medical qualifications and the role fell outside his ‘lived experience’.
This is the latest woke diktat, which insists that only minority actors can play minority characters, only gay people can play gay, etc. So no white thespian should be allowed ever again to play Othello. And so on.
Of course, that doesn’t apply to black actors, who are positively encouraged to take traditional white roles, which is why TV dramas set in 1940s and 1950s rural England have to feature a prominent number of black characters, even though they would have been few and far between, to the point of non-existent, 70 years ago.
Source of data and images: dailymail