Oxford University Press has said it encourages authors to “consider cultural differences” after claims it bans the mention of pork products in its educational children’s books.
Speaking on the Radio 4 Today programme, presenter Jim Naughtie said the publisher has banned authors from mentioning “pigs plus sausages, or anything else which could be perceived as pork”.
He said: “Now, if a respectable publisher, tied to an academic institution, is saying you've got to write a book in which you cannot mention pigs because some people might be offended, it’s just ludicrous. It is just a joke.”
In response, OUP released a statement saying: “OUP’s commitment to its mission of academic and educational excellence is absolute. Our materials are sold in nearly 200 countries, and as such, and without compromising our commitment in any way, we encourage some authors of educational materials respectfully to consider cultural differences and sensitivities. Guidelines for our educational materials differ between geographies and do not cover our academic publishing.”
The publisher would not give any further comment when contacted by The Bookseller.