Die Another Day: James Bond Books Shake Cancellation With Stirring, Woke Rewrites

(Jonathan Olley/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures/Columbia Pictures/EON Productions via AP)

If you appreciate a good rewrite, you might love the new versions of classic James Bond novels.

As reported by The Telegraph, sensitivity readers have gone through Ian Fleming’s iconic works with a fine-tooth comb and caught some literary lice.


All of the author’s thrillers featuring 007 are set to be reissued in April to mark 70 years since Casino Royale, the first book in the series, was published.

Ian Fleming Publications Ltd, the company that owns the…rights…commissioned a review…of the classic texts under its control.

At least some of the changes are of a racial sort. One example: In Live and Let Die, James calls would-be African criminals “pretty law-abiding chaps I should have thought, except when they’ve drunk too much.” That’s been trimmed to “pretty law-abiding chaps, I should have thought.”

Another altered scene features Bond visiting Harlem in New York, where a salacious strip tease at a nightclub makes the male crowd, including 007, increasingly agitated.

The original passage read: “Bond could hear the audience panting and grunting like pigs at the trough. He felt his own hands gripping the tablecloth. His mouth was dry.”

The revised section replaces the pigs reference with: “Bond could sense the electric tension in the room.”

At one point, Ian refers to a man’s “straight Harlem-Deep South” accent “with a lot of New York thrown in.” For some reason, that’s been wholly axed.

[S]ome criminals escaping from Bond in Dr No become simply “gangsters.” In the same novel, the race of a doctor and an immigration officer now go unmentioned, as does that of a henchman shot by Bond.


Certainly unsurprising:

The word “n—–”, which Fleming used to refer to black people when he was writing during the fifties and sixties, has been almost entirely expunged from the revised texts.

In most cases, this is replaced by “black person” or “black man,” but racial descriptors are entirely dropped in some instances.

These are the days of revision. RedState contributor and Weekend Content Editor Becca Lower recently noted as much:

In 2021, not only did progressives in schools try to warn people about the content in (Dr.) Seuss’ books, but Joe Biden felt the need to chime in. Also, as our Brandon Morse wrote, Seuss’ own publisher decided to stop publishing several titles over accusations of “racist and insensitive imagery.”

Now, the woke mob has its sights set on the works by another beloved children’s author: Roald Dahl. As The Telegraph reports via the Daily Mail, new editions of some of Dahl’s best-known books will be heavily “rewritten,” in order to avoid offending anyone:

Roald Dahl’s beloved children’s books (including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) are being rewritten by sensitivity gurus to remove language they deem offensive, including creating a world where no one is “fat” and the Oompa Loompas are gender-neutral.

Back to Bond, Ian Fleming Publications insists the author was all about updates:


Bond literature has been tweaked before to suit different markets, and Fleming (who died in 1964) gave editor Al Hart his blessing to tone down sex scenes for American readers.

The author also permitted US publishers to tone down racial references in Live and Let Die.

Ian Fleming Publications said: “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 authorized.

“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.

“We encourage people to read the books for themselves when the new paperbacks are published in April.”

It’s all in line with a new direction in cinema:

Some may criticize Ian Fleming Publications for such tampering, but perhaps it’s trying to prevent a greater rewrite — one in which stores refuse to any longer carry the author’s books.

The changes appear to be fueled by America’s present pick-and-choose awareness. Hence, not everything’s been redone:


Dated references to other ethnicities remain, such as Bond’s racial terms for east Asian people and the spy’s disparaging views of Oddjob, Goldfinger’s Korean henchman.

Additionally, a certain atypical title looks to have been left intact — for a work which, I can only assume, is an endearing tale about an octopus and a cat.



See more content from me:

LGBT Ecologists Ogle Racist Parks, Nonbinary Frogs, and the Importance of Public Places for Gay Sex

‘Health at Every Size’ Group Razes the ‘Racism and Healthism’ of Physicians Fighting Obesity

Women Demand Justice, Period: University Hosts ‘Menstruation Equity Summit’

Find all my RedState work here.

Thank you for reading! Please sound off in the Comments section below.


Join the conversation as a VIP Member

Trending on RedState Videos