This is one of those news lovers will like to complain a lot. And it is that, very shortly after learning that Netflix and the Roald Dahl Story Company would modify the most offensive words and phrases of Roald Dahl’s novels to adapt them to the new times and -above all- not to lose copyright (something that in Spain It won’t happen, at least for now). now it is James Bond who will be touched either because of “woke political correctness” or because of “the logical adaptation to changing times”. It depends on your side of the scale.
Ian Fleming Publications Ltd has been commissioned to review sentence by sentence the agent novels 007 and change some terms and attitudes that might have been acceptable in the 1950s but definitely not now. The word “nigger”, which Fleming used consistently, has been dropped and replaced with “Black man” or “Black person”, and the same has happened with racial descriptions, removed entirely.
Also in ‘Live and Let Die’, the new adaptation has removed references to Bond watching an aroused striptease audience “like pigs” and he has changed it to the expression “to feel an electrical tension”. They are small changes made so that the public that starts reading James Bond today does not feel annoyed with certain terms, or so they say from the editorial. It is also true that there are many other words and expressions that surprisingly have made the cut.
In ‘Goldfinger’, James Bond opines that Koreans “rank below monkeys in the mammalian hierarchy” and in ‘You Only Live Twice’ that the Japanese are “a violent people without violent language”. They have also kept, by surprise, laudatory phrases towards rape, such as “All women love semi-rape. They love being possessed” (‘The spy who loved me’) or “And now that I knew… the conquest of her body, for the protection of her private life, would have the sweet taste of rape“, from ‘Casino Royale’. Or, without going any further, in ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’, it has been maintained that Bond believed that homosexuality is a “stubborn disability, like asthma and bed-wetting”.
Surprisingly, The publisher’s review found nothing negative in these sentences., defending that the changes are intended to “remain as faithful as possible to the original text and the period in which it occurs”, a strange… criterion. It must be said that for years novels like those of the ‘Goosebumps’ saga have been adapted to a current audience when they are released as an electronic book twenty years after their original publication, so is a relatively common practice by the publishing world that has now made headlines. Even if we are talking about the most famous secret agent of all time.