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The 'N Word' To Be Edited Out Of New Edition Of Huckleberry Finn

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This will certainly stir up some controversy.

The new edition Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn will remove all references to the "N" word and replace it with the word "slave." The word "Injun" will also be removed from the novel.

Twain expert Alan Gribben, who spearheaded the change, says his version is not a way of "neutering" the classic book, but just rather updating it. He says, "Race matters in these books. It’s a matter of how you express that in the 21st century."

We're not sure if censoring the words is the best idea to teach children about classic literature and even more importantly, American history.

What do U think?

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121 comments to “The 'N Word' To Be Edited Out Of New Edition Of Huckleberry Finn

More comments: [1] 2 »

  1. 1

    I think it's stupid. What next? They edit out the n word from To Kill a Mockingbird?

    Just completely unnecessary.

  2. 2

    Weak. Let's re-write the classics and our nation's historic culture while we're at it. Mark Twain deserves more than this. Just because it's ugly does not mean we shouldn't look at it. Weak. Weak. Weak.

  3. 3


  4. 4

    omg, now even mark twain is being censored. are you seriously kidding me. he wrote the classic so it should be left as he intended it to be. if classic literature is offending anyone then they shouldnt be reading. i think it is an important thing for our children to see… how far we have come since the book was written and how much has changed.

  5. 5

    The book was written specifically to show how times were back in specific time periods.. by editing out words that are derrogortory.. it doesn't show our children the strives we have made as a Country…

  6. 6

    No. Just no. Why change language in a classic novel? There is absolutely no need to 'update' them.

  7. 7

    Censoring is bad.
    N***er is as common as the cold.
    To get the REAL feel of the book, stop trying to pretending the word exists.
    Cut the crap. I hope Twain comes back and burns those books.

  8. 8

    i think that its a good idea. The N word is bad enough, why teach our future children about that racist word.

  9. 9

    They have been changing the history they teach our youth for a long time. As time goes on I wouldn't be suprised if they said that slavery never happend.. WHAT A JOKE!

  10. 10

    I can't believe thats happening! They can't be serious!? Stupid. Needless. You can't simply change classic literature. Whats the next step? Change a whole chapter? Or take it off the book?

  11. 11

    Thats bullshit! Why don't they just rewrite the whole thing, you know while they're destroying classics why don't they just paint the Mona Lisa again so she has a definite smile maybe bigger boobs because bigger boobs are better in the 21st century.

  12. 12

    I'm surprised at you Perez.. This is what politically correct Liberals are doing to this country… They are your people..Do you know in parts of Texas they don't even teach American History anymore??? If you're Mexican you learn about Mexican History and are segregated into your own kind.. What a great country the Democratic Liberals are turning us into!!!!

  13. 13

    Celebrity juice? Not really.

  14. 14

    This is moronic…

  15. 15

    Fuck Censorship.
    So now we're changing classics to be politically correct? I'm not someone who uses the N-Word, but I don't believe in changing art.

  16. 16

    The words should remain.
    They SHOULD make you uncomfortable when reading them.
    That's how it was back then, that's when the book was written, and it doesn't make it any less of a story, it's just depicting the times.
    No one in their right mind nowadays would read that and think that's how they should be talking.
    The discomfort in reading those words can give a person a sense of just how certain words can feel painful to one to hear.
    If it's sanitized and scrubbed from all memory, people aren't even going to remember and appreciate why they aren't good words to use. If we are meant to understand what's hurtful about those words, there are some contexts where they should remain (like in a historical piece of writing) and it will illustrate the point perfectly.

  17. 17

    This is crazy!! I'm sure Mark Twain would find it absolutely insulting that someone is changing "his" work of art.

  18. 18

    I think it would be more productive to write a forward that would teach young readers that certain terms that were used commonly then are considered taboo now, and why. I think Twain would have prefered this be used as an educational moment. Editing our classics is trying to edit the bad out of our history, and we should learn from these things, not bury them.

  19. 19

    lol i find ironic perez has issue with it, when a month ago he wanted the gay slur from vince vaughn movie to be edited. hypocrite much? Any ways im glad they using a taseful replacement of the N WORD. Only a bigot will have issue with it not being used in the film, Let the bigot bitchingbegin i 5,4,3,2 and GO

  20. 20

    Re: cap chick – You are an idiot.

  21. 21

    you don't repaint the Mona Lisa before rehanging it in a museum… sheesh! Wait til someone tried to rewrite the Bible!!!!!! *grin*

  22. 22

    If they change the words then they should change the author's name as well. And make it clear that was not what Twain wrote. He was a brilliant man making observations of the people and society around him.

  23. 23


    ’nuff said.

  24. 24

    Re: hiswifey2007 – Actually read the book before you comment on it, ok? You're acting like it was written yesterday.

  25. 25

    No no no!

  26. 26

    This man calls himself an "expert" on Sam Clemens? Let's take Shakespeare and re-write it in plane English, that way it's not so offensive to morons.

  27. 27

    Terrible terrible thing to do. 'Updating' a classic to today's societal expectations is the wrong thing to do, and a terrible message to send.

  28. 28

    I don't agree with the change but I wonder what you would have said if it contained the word F-A-G? I have a feeling you would have been all over that one.

  29. 29

    They really ought to leave classics alone. All of this censoring is pointless. Even more pointless is why this is a post on PerezHilton.com though…

  30. 30

    alan gribben needs to get some tissue, wipe that vag and quit crying like a fucken baby………….esp considering black people still run around calling themselves "ni**a"…………..

  31. 31

    Re: Snotface123 – That'll never happen. Why erase the wrongdoings of whitey when it serves their purpose.

  32. 32


  33. 33

    Re: pareidolia

    well said

  34. 34

    Mark Twain is rolling over in his grave as we speak. What a load of bullshit. That's like trying to cover up the past; just because the book has some less-than-savory words in it doesn't mean anyone should be allowed to edit it later on down the road.

  35. 35

    Re: cap chick – I'm pretty sure that's the Republicans doing, dear. It's Texas. Finding a Democrat anywhere but Austin is like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

  36. 36

    Re: DaRockz – "with it not being used in the film" It's a book, Sherlock…

  37. 37

    Re: hiswifey2007 – Give baby a bottle. You obviously were not educated as a child in this country or you would have read this great American novel in middle school. If you did indeed read this book, you'd know that the book does not "teach" the "N word" to "future" children (I suppose you mean children who transport to our time from the future). Children who live in the present should have access to our history in it's factual form. Huck Finn accurately depicts the language of the time and should not be censored for the pleasure of prude bleeding hearts such as yourself.

  38. 38

    That's stupid you can't change history.. People need to know how it was back in the day to educate themselves and learn.. I don't see any reason why it should be taken out..

  39. 39

    Re: DaRockz – Did you really just compare Huck Finn to a Vince Vaughn movie? Okie dokie.

  40. 40

    Re: cap chick – Oh stfu with the liberal shit! You don't know any thing what makes you think every "liberal" agrees?? if you looked at comments you would see 99% disagrees with this shit! Does that make everyone here a non-liberal? what a stupid statement…

  41. 41

    stupid. are they gonna edit out the 'n-word' from rap albums next???

  42. 42

    Maybe they should have Finn texting on Smart Phone while driving around in his Prius. Updating for the times.

  43. 43

    On behalf of Mark Twain, I am asking Alan Gribben to "leave my book the f**k alone!"

  44. MB927 says – reply to this


    Re: cap chick
    You have it backwards, capchick. First of all, liberals are typically for NON-censorship, especially concerning artistic expression.

    As far as the history curriculum in Texas, where in the world are you getting your information from? American History is a core requirement regardless of which city in Texas you live in..or state in the US for that matter. The only place that Mexican history is incorporated is during Texas history courses which obviously makes sense considering the former war between Mexico and Texas…ever heard of the Texas Revolution? I should know, I was born, raised, and went to elementary-college in Texas. Get your facts straight…

  45. 45

    It shouldn't be edited out. It is part of the original literature and should be left intact. If it comes to offend some people, it should be left open for talks and discusion about how such a word came to be and it's impact on society and literature.

  46. 46

    Every time I think the politically correct police have gone too far, something like this happens. The book is a classic how dare someone change it!

  47. IamB says – reply to this


    I read the book in high school. Thought it was boring. Hated it. But it's still a classic. And you don't f*** around with the classics. You just don't. Besides, keeping the original language is absolutely essential to understanding the context in which the book was written. This project is a huge disservice to the kids reading the book. Not only does it insult them to imply they won't realize the N-word is inappropriate, it also has the potential to take away some of the experience of reading the book in its original form. Once again, the pursuit of PCism has gone too far.

    They're "updating" it? That's a load of BS if I ever heard one.

  48. 48

    Re: DaRockz – It's a book not a movie.

  49. 49

    In a similar move, The History Channel is re-editing all WWII footage of the Nazi flag to look like a pound sign.

  50. 50

    this is bullshit.

  51. 51

    I am having a really tough time with htis.
    Books are important & shouldn't be "updated."
    Yet these two words are so disgusting.
    We have to know where we came though.
    I don't have the answer.

  52. 52

    i totally understand where you all are coming from but as a black person i totally think it is necessary. The word is very sensative. Although, others may not veiw the use if the n-word in the novel useful its not find a new word because im getting sick of the common use of the word.

  53. 53

    This work is a reflection of a specific time period in US History. It is not a reflection of 21st century thinking. Ridiculous to make these changes.

  54. 54

    Re: cap chick – You must be a republican because its obvious that you have been brainwashed to believing that republicans actually have your best interest. If you actually believe that then you are truley stupid because liberals know that they represent minorities and trust me we would have field-day if liberals actually did that.

  55. 55

    Re: stefystef – the N-word is as common as common as the cold- WELL I THINK THATS THE PROBLEM

  56. 56

    Re: stacey68 – They already have

  57. 57

    bad idea.
    I'd be interested to know exactly what makes this dude an 'expert'…..
    Twain was a genius and his works have no business being updated…

    years ago, Frank Zappa was being given an award for his music, and he found out that the award was given to 'censored' versions of his songs….he left the award at the stage and announced that they should be given to the censor that had screwed up his songs, as they were now more 'his' work than Franks….
    always loved that he did that….

  58. 58

    Oh, so we're rewriting history?? Ok, well let's just say slavery and the holocaust never happened. The world's always been just one, big, happy family. Ugh, PC crap!!!!

  59. 59

    Re: April 20th – But it still doesnt make it right. I think it is sooo dumb when black people call themselves the N-word. Its not right i understand its a classic but it shouldnt have been said or used then and it shouldnt be today. Oh and im btw

  60. 60

    Idiot… The word should be kept… That was how people spoke then. Its History written in context

  61. 61

    And what does being a liberal or conservative have to do with this??? Its about a American Novel… a book that I don't think should be censored at all!

  62. @v@ says – reply to this


    It's only the new edition, so the historically correct issues will still be around.
    I'm surprised you might be against the removal of the 'n' word, seeing as how you think the Naval XO should be fired for satire. The two have a similarity.

  63. 63

    I'm black and I disagree with the editing. Yes, the word is bad and I don't even think black people should use it, but you don't just go and change classic literature. Its a great way for our youth to see how aweful it really was back then. I take it out would be to cheapen the subject matter and the importance of our ancesory and what they had to endure.

  64. Fabu says – reply to this


    I do not like the N word, but to take it out of a book to update it to this century? Ridiculous! Keep the N word in the book… doing otherwise is just a form of censorship.

  65. 65

    Revolting decision. Why not just light it on fire?

  66. 66

    Re: hiswifey2007 – Because to deny history happened is asking for it to repeat.

  67. 67

    well that's america for you "lets just clean this up, put something pretty in its place and forget this whoooooole thing ever happened" there are better ways to ease your guilt besides trying to re-write history assholes

  68. 68

    Sad. Idiot!! Updating Mark Twain… Pfff

  69. 69

    Re: klingchad – would you even be able to read "plane" English or is that what pilots read?

  70. 70

    Re: DaRockz – Ugh. This book is a waste of censorship, because the people who it is meant to please (people such as yourself) think Huck Finn is a just movie and wont read the book anyways.

  71. 71

    oh my it's the 21 century , why shouldn't we rewrite all the classics , Shakespear, Beaudelaire, Zola…

    Sure it will please them from there graves… where we are at it why not simply erase some classic film ; " Gone with the wind" i'm sure there are some prejudices to the perfect 21 the century in it !

    Why not rewrite the bible by the way it's so out of time … and you can go on and on

  72. 72

    Re: Jackeezy – Dante's Inferno refers to sodomites in hell. While from today's point of view that is a horrible, horrible thing (the point of view of decent people, anyway) that doesn't mean that anyone should be editing Dante's work. Stop trying to project your homophobia on other people.

  73. 73

    i never comment on this site but it is absolutely ridiculous that YOU think that the "N" word should be left in the book. I think it should remain as is but you, who is constantly b*tching about the use of "homophobic" slurs, including in personal opinions, should totally agree with the book being censored, in the exact same way that you wish everyone's mouth's would be censored.

  74. 74

    seems a bit odd when people like Chris Brown and many other artists throw the word around in everyday conversations. I'm now even more confused. Make up your minds america!

  75. 75

    Hey everyone, let's pretend there are no people with racist attitudes out there. That will make it all better! Then when minority children grow up and encounter them they'll know just how to deal with it because they were so well sheltered from it.

  76. 76

    PEREZ, if this were a homophobic slur being censored you'd be all for it - be a little bit more consistant.

  77. 77

    they should leave it as it is. This is a classic book and children need 2 know the kind of derogative words they used back then. It'll teach them that's the way it was back then and how far we have come by not using those words again.

  78. 78

    I'm not surprised. Even George Bush spent tons of $$$$ to cover up a nude statue because he didn't want people to be offended. Art trumps censorship….or at least it should.

  79. 79

    Big mistake! It's awful what this country is coming to… we need to LEARN from our past so we don't keep repeating the same mistakes and understand how far we have come. It's all about context, people!

  80. 80

    Re: highboo – Wow you really missed his point!

  81. 81

    The problem is the racist meaning it has been given to the n-word who wasn't first and then people using "n***a" the same way as "buddy" or "dude" (a shame, big shame) and making it "acceptable" even if they didn't want to. This is how people's mind change about that word, not about it being used in that book or any other one where it's a witness of the ugly sides of History and not an offense to black people!
    Then what? Are they going to eradicate any words like "nazis" and replace it by "German-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named"? Really?

  82. 82

    I agree with highboo and hay haybabes below. leave the classics as they are, they show was was once real. possibly the change was influenced by school English teachers ( i am one ) who might want to teach this classic but dont want parents and kids offended? i say: write some new books for teens, people, about challenges in today's world.

  83. 83

    Fuck that. That one word alone makes a huge part of the story. FUCK CENSORSHIP! What's happening in this country these days….

  84. 84

    cause apparently the classroom WOULDNT be a good place to talk about racial slurs? come on we are just so fckin afraid of everything

  85. 85

    This censorship is DISGUSTING! This should NOT be the way of the future!! Is there something we can do about this? I am absolutely outraged. In no way is this right. This is CLASSIC AMERICAN LITERATURE being CENSORED! Are you kidding me? Let's just re-write our history books and exclude slavery while we're at it.

  86. 86

    This is not a race issue, this is about CENSORSHIP! EVERYONE should be outraged! FREEDOM OF SPEECH!!!!!!!!!!

  87. 87

    cause apparently the classroom WOULDNT be a good place to talk about racial slurs? come on we are just so fckin afraid of everything that we become ignorant and detached from reality
    seeing how society now works though maybe they will leave the word when its a black person saying it, since that is okay, but god forbid anyone of a different race says it…

  88. 88

    What the fucking fuckity fuck is this fuckery!?!!?
    Wasn't the point of the actual story to show tolerance!? That's how it was like back in, don't rewrite history just because you're afraid of insulting people.

  89. 89

    If no child ever reads that word in print ever again, the world will be a better place, I don't believe in censorship but I don't believe that word deserves to be in millions of books around the world! History does not HAVE to dictate the current reality! I will never allow my children to learn such nonsense for the sake of "History"! if they wanna find such words they can watch MTV/BET or roam the streets but I wont hand them a book with the "N" word just to help them grow prejudice that is made legitimate by published authors! these are the seedlings of racism!

  90. GG78 says – reply to this


    It's historically relevant, leave it in. When black people stop saying n**** every other word then maybe others will take them more seriously when they get offended about a word in an old book.

  91. 91

    Historical relevance is a disguise to keep using these words and making them contemporary. History happened , no one will forget the word, black american people can use it as long as they like,Personally I dont care for such a word! I just do not approve of the word being legitimized in print! As I feel literature carries a heavy cultural impact!

  92. 92

    It is completely unnecessary. It is important for kids to understand what it was like back then.

  93. 93


  94. 94

    Re: cap chick – BAHAHAHAHAHA. Oh yea, those liberals are definitely running Texas, ie the reddest state in the country. It is actually the bible-thumping fundamentalists that run the country changing US history to not teach about the separation of church and state, and completely trying to discredit science.

  95. 95

    Perez, I'm surprised and delighted with your opinion on this. I agree that classical literature should stay intact and not be tampered/censored, but i'm curious how you would feel if it was an anti-gay slur.

  96. 96

    Re: Lutho Somdyala – So you say you'd rather let your children learn the n-word thanks to the TV or stupid people who use it as a casual slang instead of someone, you or a teacher, explain them where the word comes from, how it became racist and how much it can hurt someone?
    What if they ask you how to have sex? Would you tell them to watch porn, go ask the prostitutes in the streets and try by themselves?
    History, of course, mustn't lead our present, but we have to know about it, learn about it and make things better. Teaching the children about the past, about the mistakes and how to behave to avoid them is the right thing to do if you want the world to be better. Not let them do the same mistakes again and again.

  97. 97

    Im black and I think its Ridiculous….that word is a part of our american history…like it or not!

  98. 98

    NOOOOO! if it's taken away the new generation will never know specially what and how African American people at the time were treated times were. They will never see exactly how much african american people had to endure and how tfar they have come!

  99. 99

    As a black man myself, I think this is stupid and unnecessary. It's how times were back then. I wasn't too offended when I read the book because I understand what the time period was like.

  100. 100

    Re: Valais_Rocks – Sex and the N word are not interchangable, sex is beautiful, the N word is disgusting, I will teach about sex not the N word!

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