The Beano Gets The Woke Makeover

The Inclusive Beano

The Beano's Pride tribute. Credit: The Beano/

The same people that recently overhauled Roald Dahl’s book have also turned their hand to the Famous children’s comic, The Beano.

The classic children’s comic, The Beano, celebrated its 85th anniversary yesterday, July 30, but it also emerged that the national treasure is now written with today’s woke culture in mind, according to GB News.

49-year-old Mike Stirling, in charge of The Beano’s creative direction, has revealed that they have hired sensitivity readers to tweak the comic to be more acceptable for the modern age.

Stirling reported that new Beano characters are assessed and written with input from Inclusive Minds, a group that promotes ‘inclusion, diversity, equality and accessibility in children’s literature.’ The group were recently involved in removing potentially offensive passages in some of Roald Dahl’s books for children.

Most people are familiar with The Beano’s classic characters such as Dennis the Menace and his dog Gnasher, Minnie the Minx and Lord Snooty.

The famous Bash Street Kids have a few new classmates this year, which have swelled its ranks to 15 pupils. Joining the likes of buck-toothed Plug and not-so-bright Smiffy, is artist Khadija Raad, who wears a hijab; Mandira Sharma, a girl struggling with anxiety; and Rubi, a wheelchair-bound scientist with ginger hair.

Some of the gang’s favourites have also had a name change. The descriptively named character Spotty is now called Scotty, while Fatty now has the name, Freddy. The rationale is to send a more positive message to young ones feeling insecure about acne or weight problems.

With the threat of being labelled ‘woke,’ The Beano’s creative director said: ‘We have never seen that as a pejorative term. It’s awareness and being awake to things.’

In his defence, Stirling reiterated that the original Bash Street Kids lineup was acceptable in 1954, but it had to change, originally nine of them were boys with only one girl and they were all white.

He added: ‘When we make a new character, [Inclusive Minds] connect us with an ambassador who advises us. That allows us to get the details right in terms of clothes they are wearing and cultural celebrations their family might get involved in.’

The Beano is published every Wednesday, with a distribution of about 40,000 copies but most of its readers access the brand online.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.


    • Naimah Yianni

      01 August 2023 • 15:53

      Pathetic. they rewrite books like they rewrite history. All of this is ridiculous and needs to end. People are becoming so sensitive that they can barely survive normal life. Toughen up for goodness sake! Namby pamby rubbish

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