Roald Dahl’s family has apologised for anti-Semitic comments made by the late author in the past.
Dahl’s controversial comments were made in two interviews in 1983 and 1990 and were condemned in a recent statement by the Roald Dahl Story Company on the website where they “deeply apologise for the lasting and understandable hurt caused”.
It said his “prejudiced remarks stand.. in marked contrast to the man we knew”.
In the controversial interview with the New Statesman in 1983 Dahl remarked how he believed that there was “a trait in the Jewish character that does provoke animosity”.
Seven years later, in a piece in another paper, the author acknowledged he had “become anti-Semitic”, and refused to apologise, causing upset in the Jewish community.
“The Dahl family and the Roald Dahl Story Company deeply apologise for the lasting and understandable hurt caused by some of Roald Dahl’s statements. Those prejudiced remarks are incomprehensible to us and stand in marked contrast to the man we knew and to the values at the heart of Roald Dahl’s stories, which have positively impacted young people for generations.
“We hope that, just as he did at his best, at his absolute worst, Roald Dahl can help remind us of the lasting impact of words.”
A Campaign Against Antisemitism spokesperson said it was “disappointing” that the Dahl representatives “waited 30 years to make an apology”.
“It is a shame that the estate has seen fit merely to apologise for Dahl’s anti-Semitism rather than to use its substantial means to do anything about it,” they remarked. “The apology should have come much sooner and been published less obscurely, but the fact that it has come at all – after so long – is an encouraging sign that Dahl’s racism has been acknowledged even by those who profit from his creative works.”