Charlie was Originally Black in ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’

Beloved children’s book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has captured imaginations for years. It has been made into two popular films, a Broadway musical and the phrase “golden ticket” is a part of the everyday lexicon.

However, author Roald Dahl’s widow Liccy has recently revealed a bombshell about her husband’s original idea for the story. Charlie Bucket was going to be black.

In an interview with BBC Radio 4, Liccy stated that her husband’s first plan featured “a little black boy.” When questioned why things changed, she replied, “I don’t know. It’s a great pity.”

charlie and the chocolate factory
Freddie Highmore played Charlie in the Tim Burton film Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Source: Daily Mail

Roald Dahl’s biographer Donald Sturrock provided insight saying “it was his agent who thought it was a bad idea, when the book was first published, to have a black hero.”

Sturrock believes that his agent at the time, Sheila St. Lawrence, who had a very influential working relationship with Dahl said people would wonder why the main character was black.

Though this news is a shock to fans who’ve been enjoying the story their entire lives, it’s not really a surprise considering the book was published in 1964.

It will be interesting to see if readers will ever get a version of the story that includes Dahl’s first vision of Charlie as a young black boy. And if that happens, will moviegoers get a third film starring a newly diverse cast of kids?

What do you think of Charlie Bucket being black?

Source: Huffington Post

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