James Bond Books Edited To Be ‘Less Offensive’

(Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP) (Photo by VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images)

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James Bond books are being updated to meet cultural sensitivity standards, according to reporting by the Telegraph.

According to the report, the books will be updated to remove offensive descriptions of black people ahead of the 70th anniversary of Casino Royale, the first book in the series.

The updates happened after the publisher, Ian Fleming Publications, hired “sensitivity readers” to review the book and give feedback.

 The new editions of the books will now have the following disclaimer, according to reporting by the Telegraph:

“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.” (RELATED: Roald Dahl Book Publisher Does Damage Control After Decision To Rewrite Author’s Words Sparks Backlash)

The new edition of the book makes several edits to passages that might be deemed offensive to black people. For instance, the publisher removes racial descriptors of passages which have black characters portrayed as criminals, barmen, gangsters, butlers, and drivers.

The n-word, which author Ian Fleming used to describe black people in some instances, is dropped in favor of “black person” or “black man.”
“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,” Ian Fleming Publications said, according to the Telegraph,  “We encourage people to read the books for themselves when the new paperbacks are published in April.”
The announcement of the edits to the James Bond novels come on the heels of Penguin’s heavily-criticized edits to Roald Dahl’s stories. The backlash prompted the publisher to reverse course.