Main menu


Anh Do's book series WeirDo was banned in US schools in Central York, Pennsylvania.

Why ABC star Anh Do’s lighthearted book series was banned in American schools after authorities accused it of being ‘divisive’ and ‘activist’

  • Anh Do didn’t know his hit series was at the center of US education protests
  • The Vietnamese-Australian entertainer wrote a children’s book for WeirDo
  • Schools in US state ban Dou’s book, sparking outcry
  • 17 books have since been put back after student riots

Popular comedian and author Anh Do didn’t even realize his successful book series had been banned by American schools until U.S. students flocked to demand the ban be lifted, his agent said. clarified.

In November 2020, the Pennsylvania State Board of Education determined that Do’s hit WeirDo series “leaned into edifying material.”

The 17 books aimed at young children, full of stomach laughter, cartoons and anecdotes from his experience attending school as an immigrant, were deemed “too activist in nature” by the Central York Board of Education. I got

But Australia’s “happiest refugees” knew nothing about the ban until it was lifted in January after protests by students calling for their reinstatement.

‘very. Incredible. Good for the kids who flipped it over,” Laing said.

Popular comedian and author Anh Do was not even aware that his successful book series WeirDo was banned in American schools in Pennsylvania, his agent revealed.

Do came to Australia by boat from Vietnam at the age of three and has steadily risen to prominence through his creative talents as a painter.

Even his publisher had no idea that Do was at the center of a messy ideological debate in the U.S. education system.

Despite calling itself the “Land of the Free,” the United States boasts one of the longest lists of banned books in the developed world.

PEN America, a free speech advocate, has counted more than 1,500 book bans in U.S. school districts since its launch in July 2021.

The 1,145 banned titles include the work of award-winning Canadian author Margaret Atwood, Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison, and essayist Carmen Maria Machado.

Do's WeirDo series (pictured) was among the 455 books banned in Central York schools and the 1,145 books banned in the United States after July 2021.

Do’s WeirDo series (pictured) was among the 455 books banned in Central York schools and the 1,145 books banned in the United States after July 2021.

Do’s series was included in 455 titles banned from Central York libraries, classrooms, curricula, and optional reading lists, despite being listed in documents originally intended as educational resources. rice field.

After initial backlash from parents and students, the board insisted that the Curriculum Committee review the list of prohibited resources.

The committee reviewed the list but decided to keep the ban.

Central York School Board President Jane Johnson said when she explained the situation to outraged parents in September 2021, her board did not “ban” the book, but simply “frozen it.” “I just did.”

“It is our responsibility as the school board to represent the community and manage the design of a rigorous, age-appropriate academic program for grades K through 12,” she said.

“What we are trying to do is strike a balance between legitimate academic freedom and material that is too active in nature and may lean more towards edification than age-appropriate academic content. to take.”

“We are aware of the intensity of opinion on all aspects of these issues and are working to get this lengthy delay right.”