Racist phrases have been removed from the original James Bond novels from the 1950s and 1960s following a sensitivity review, as per a report in the Telegraph. In April, fresh installments of Ian Fleming's well-known book series will be made available to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the author's first novel "Casino Royale", which was initially published in 1953.
Terms such as the n-word, which featured in those decades have been edited in the novels. In the novels which were released between 1951 and 1966, the commonly derogatory term for Black people has been almost fully replaced by "Black person" or "Black man".
However, references to other ethnicities, such as an expression for east Asian people and Bond's mocking views of Oddjob, Goldfinger's Korean henchman, still remain. Apart from this, references to the "sweet tang of rape", "blithering women" failing to do a "man's work" and homosexuality being a "stubborn disability" are still present in the books.
As per the outlet, Mr Bond's assessment of Africans working in the gold and diamond markets in "Live and Let Die" (1954) has been changed to "pretty law-abiding chaps I should have thought" from "pretty law-abiding chaps I should have thought, except when they've drunk too much".
Each book will also carry the disclaimer, "This book was written at a time when terms and attitudes which might be considered offensive by modern readers were commonplace. A number of updates have been made in this edition, while keeping as close as possible to the original text and the period in which it is set."
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According to the Telegraph, the move comes after an assessment of the James Bond series by sensitive readers which was commissioned by Ian Fleming Publications, the company that controls the rights to the author's writing.
Ian Fleming Publications told the outlet, "We at Ian Fleming Publications reviewed the text of the original Bond books and decided our best course of action was to follow Ian's lead. We have made changes to Live and Let Die that he himself authorised."
"Following Ian's approach, we looked at the instances of several racial terms across the books and removed a number of individual words or else swapped them for terms that are more accepted today but in keeping with the period in which the books were written," they said.