Dr. Seuss‘ history of creating offensive caricatures isn’t a secret.
His World War II depictions of Japanese people have drawn criticism for their portrayal of stereotypical physical features and behaviors. The National Education Association’s Asian Pacific Islander caucus objected to the use of Dr. Seuss as the figurehead for the “Read Across America” campaign in 2003.
Seuss went on to create children’s books such as “Horton Hears a Who!” and “The Sneetches” that espouse messages of tolerance, which some have interpreted as an apology for his WWII propaganda.
Later in his career, Seuss mended his ways and drew anti-racist cartoons, a couple of which we’ve also included in this gallery. He also expressed regret for his anti-Japanese views, according to filmmaker Ron Lamothe, who made The Political Dr. Seuss:
“The only evidence I have comes from his biographers, who told me that years later—although still recognizing its necessity due to the war—he was regretful about some of his cartoons for PM and some of the propaganda work he did for the Army Signal Corps. I do think the fact he dedicated Horton Hears a Who—a parable about the American postwar occupation of Japan—to “My Great Friend, Mitsugi Nakamura of Kyoto, Japan,” says something of his changing attitudes toward the Japanese (this following a trip he made there in 1953). Though, as Richard Minear has pointed out, Horton Hears a Who still smacks of American chauvinism, and it makes no reference to Hiroshima and Nagasaki.