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How childhood classics are slapped with warnings to appease easily-offended modern readers – from Lewis Carroll to ‘fatophobia’ in Harry Potter and ‘age-gap romance’ in Jane Austen’s Emma (as Oompa Loompas go gender neutral)

Some classic stories and childhood favorites are now being changed or include trigger warnings in case they offend modern readers.

In recent years, many children’s books have been critically assessed based on word choice or content.

Staples such as Lewis Carroll – author of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – were given a disclaimer after York St John University warned students about the ‘colonialist narratives’ some stories can contain.

The warning was posted on the website of the Rees-Williams Collection of Children’s Literature stories, which includes another classic: JM Barrie’s Peter and Wendy.

It outlined how the stories can contain ‘colonialist narratives’, with vocabulary and illustrations that can appear ‘racist’ – leading some stories to have a ‘white supremacy’ warning.

In recent years, many children’s books have been critically assessed based on word choice or content. In the photo: an Oompa Loompa

Staples such as Lewis Carroll – author of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland – were given a disclaimer after York St John University warned students about the 'colonialist narratives' some stories can contain.  Pictured: A scene from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Staples such as Lewis Carroll – author of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – were given a disclaimer after York St John University warned students about the ‘colonialist narratives’ some stories can contain. Pictured: A scene from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

The warning was posted on the website of the Rees-Williams Collection of Children's Literature stories, which includes another classic: Peter and Wendy by J.M. Barrie

The warning was posted on the website of the Rees-Williams Collection of Children’s Literature stories, which includes another classic: Peter and Wendy by J.M. Barrie

It explained how the stories can contain “colonialist narratives,” with vocabulary and illustrations that can seem “racist” – giving the classic stories a warning of “white supremacy.”

It explained how the stories can contain “colonialist narratives,” with vocabulary and illustrations that can seem “racist” – giving the classic stories a warning of “white supremacy.”

The university previously told the Daily Telegraph that the ‘guidance’ had been in place since 2019 and that it had a ‘responsibility’ to inform students about content that could be ‘offensive and outdated’.

This isn’t the only children’s classic to be hit recently: Harry Potter readers have been made aware of the ‘fatphobia’ that comes with the magical stories.

A website, Booktriggerwarnings.comhas compiled a list of warnings for thousands of books that readers should proceed with caution.

The site says it is ‘dedicated’ to ensuring book lovers are ‘better informed’ and ‘safer’ in their reading choices.

Almost all Harry Potter books are listed with various warnings. The first of the stories, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, comes with six trigger warnings.

Examples include body horror, bullying, child abuse, fatphobia, self-sacrifice and violence.

The ‘child abuse’ warnings stem from the way the Dursleys treated Harry by forcing him to sleep under the stairs.

Meanwhile, readers have also criticized JK Rowling for portraying mean characters as ‘fat’, calling it ‘fatphobic’.

Almost all Harry Potter books are listed with various warnings.  The first of the stories, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, comes with six trigger warnings

Almost all Harry Potter books are listed with various warnings. The first of the stories, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, comes with six trigger warnings

Jane Austen was another author on the site - with her classic Emma, ​​which included warnings about 'age gaps'.  Pictured: a scene from the movie Emma

Jane Austen was another author on the site – with her classic Emma, ​​which included warnings about ‘age gaps’. Pictured: a scene from the movie Emma

In the story, Dudley is described as ‘very fat and hated exercise’, while Rubeus Hagrid is considered ‘too big to be allowed’.

Jane Austen was another author on the site – with her classic Emma, ​​which included warnings about ‘age gaps’.

First published in 1816, it follows the dangers of misinterpreted romance in Regency England.

However, the guidelines on the website tell readers to be wary of an “age gap romance” and “implied grooming” in the book.

The warnings relate to Emma’s romance with Mr Knightley, who Emma describes as “quick and confident” at the age of 10 – when he would have been 27 or 28.

Trigger warnings for classics aren’t the only hurdles beloved novels face; in some the words have even been changed.

Roald Dahl’s books were extensively rewritten by the censors last year after publisher Puffin hired sensitivity readers.

Willy Wonka’s Oompa Loompas in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory have now been made gender neutral and new editions no longer use the word ‘fat’.

The changes sparked outrage from parents, with some saying they would boycott the updated stories.

The Roald Dahl Story Company, which controls the rights to the books, previously said it was working with Puffin to revise the texts as it wanted to ensure that all of today’s children would continue to enjoy Dahl’s wonderful stories and characters.

Trigger warnings for classics aren't the only hurdles beloved novels face;  in some the words have even been changed.  In the photo: a scene from the movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Trigger warnings for classics aren’t the only hurdles beloved novels face; in some the words have even been changed. In the photo: a scene from the movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Willy Wonka's Oompa Loompas in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory have now been made gender neutral and new editions no longer use the word 'fat'.  Pictured: Augustus Gloop and Mrs. Gloop in the 2005 film

Willy Wonka’s Oompa Loompas in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory have now been made gender neutral and new editions no longer use the word ‘fat’. Pictured: Augustus Gloop and Mrs. Gloop in the 2005 film

The language was reviewed in collaboration with Inclusive Minds and any changes were “minor and carefully considered,” the company said.

Another publisher, Penguin Random House, last year added trigger warnings about “language and attitudes” to the latest edition of Nobel Prize winner Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises.

The warning read: “The publisher’s decision to present it as originally published is not intended as an endorsement of the cultural representations or language contained herein.”

Despite being considered one of America’s greatest novels, The Sun Also Rises faced criticism for anti-Semitic tropes.