27 People PUNISHED for “Ugly” Textbook Pictures
(NewsReady.com) – China’s communist regime has played many roles. It’s been an invader, an ethnic cleanser, a slave overseer, and an unscrupulous economic predator. Now, in a new twist, it’s decided to play art critic.
A months-long government investigation into textbooks which went viral over "tragically ugly" illustrations including distorted faces and a child with an apparent leg tattoo, has formally punished *27* individuals. https://t.co/ple0oN6maw
— Helen Davidson (@heldavidson) August 23, 2022
On August 22, China’s Ministry of Education (MOE) announced that after a three-month investigation, it was punishing 27 people involved in producing math textbooks that feature “tragically ugly” cartoons. Penalties ranged from warnings and “major demerits” to being blacklisted or even fired. Now, the MOE has launched a review of all grade school textbooks.
The scandal began in May, when users of the Chinese social media platform Weibo, the communist state’s heavily censored equivalent of Twitter, began sharing, criticizing, and joking about images copied from a series of math textbooks used in Chinese elementary schools. The images quickly went viral, and although the books have been in use for 10 years, the sudden attention pushed the CCP’s sluggish bureaucracy into action.
For once, this doesn’t look like the CCP being paranoid and over-sensitive. Weibo users complained that children had distorted faces in some of the illustrations. Others showed young boys with bulging pants, and in one, a boy appeared to be grabbing a girl’s skirt. In another, a girl skipping a rope is exposing her underpants. Of course, the usual paranoia is there; one image was criticized because a child was wearing red, white, and blue clothes — the colors of the US flag.
Now, MOE experts have ruled that the images don’t “properly reflect the sunny image of China’s children,” and they’re punishing the culprits. The books were published by the People’s Education Press; its Party chief has been reprimanded and the deputy editor fired. Additionally, three illustrators have been blacklisted. The creators of the books have embarrassed the state, and that won’t be tolerated.
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