Tom Hanks has said he would boycott books rewritten to reflect any “modern sensitivities”.
Recently, book publisher Puffin announced that Roald Dahl’s books were being edited to remove language deemed offensive in order to make sure the books “can continue to be enjoyed by all today”.
Words such as “fat” and “ugly” were removed and there have also been alterations made in relation to subjects such as gender, race and mental health.
The decision sparked discourse online and in the press about censorship, creative freedom and treating certain creative works with outdated language as a product of its time.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4, Hanks, who has recently published his debut novel, said of the censorship: ‘Well, I’m of the opinion that we’re all grown-ups here. And we understand the time and the place and when these things were written. And it’s not very hard at all to say: that doesn’t quite fly right now, does it?”
He continued: “Let’s have faith in our own sensibilities here, instead of having somebody decide what we may or may not be offended by.
“…Let me decide what I am offended by and not offended by. I would be against reading any book from any era that says ”abridged due to modern sensitivities.'”
According to a synopsis of Hanks’ new book, called The Making of Another Major Motion Picture Masterpiece: A Novel, it’s “a wildly ambitious story of the making of a colossal, star-studded, multimillion-dollar superhero action film, and the humble comic book that inspired it all.”
Meanwhile, Hanks has been named as the principal speaker at Harvard University’s commencement on May 25.
Harvard President Lawrence Bacow called the actor “a true master of his craft.”
“In addition to his brilliance as an actor, Tom has demonstrated both an innate empathy and a deep understanding of the human condition,” Bacow said.
“He has contributed to our national culture and expanded our ability to appreciate stories and histories that have been previously unexamined.”