Kristen Bell is still promoting her ‘both sides’ Purple People kids book

Kristen Bell was recently on The Late Show to promote her ill-timed and ill-conceived The World Needs More Purple People children’s book. It was released in the height of the Black Lives Matter movement this June, when there was a growing awareness of racism and white privilege. The book seemed like a variation on the antiquated “I don’t see color, I don’t care if you’re purple” way that certain white people deny racism. (Also see: “I don’t have a racist bone in my body.”) It was widely criticized for that reason, but Kristen never addressed that and she kept promoting the book as usual. She’s still promoting it, and on Jimmy Kimmel last week she repeated the reasoning that she and her co-writer had for writing the book: that their children were seeing political divisiveness and that they wanted them to see similarities instead and just get along:

Purple, it’s obviously a little bit of a metaphor. One of my best friends Ben Hart and I we were having a family dinner two years ago. It takes a long time even though there are only 20 pages. It takes two years. We were noticing this very polarizing political culture seep into our family lives and we were like ‘this feels wrong, it feels like we’re seeing enemies everywhere.’ So we wanted to do something helpful with the language ‘red vs. blue,’ ‘blue vs. red.’ It’s not versus anything and so we wanted to create a social identity that positions kids toward other human beings, to work out any disagreements, any different opinions.

[From The Tonight Show on YouTube]

You’ve surely heard the famous quote by James Baldwin, “We can disagree and still love each other unless your disagreement is rooted in my oppression and denial of my humanity and right to exist.” Only for Kristen’s kids, and for her co-writer Benjamin Hart’s kids, that disagreement between the two parties is rooted in the oppression of other people, isn’t it? One side is denying Black and brown people’s humanity. Rich white people are going to be just fine. Kids understand good vs. evil. There are villains in almost every kids’ story. Aren’t you telling them “oh honey those people aren’t that bad, just be nice to everyone and it will work out fine.” Unfortunately Kristen’s book is number three on the NY Times Children’s Picture Books bestseller list. I guess it’s easier to tell your kids we should all get along than help them acknowledge implicit racism and that the system is stacked in their favor.

Kristen told Jimmy that the book was two years in the making. It came out in June, 2020. Let’s assume it’s just about “politics.” Charlottesville was in the summer of 2017. We saw children locked in cages and separated from their families at the border around June, 2018. All of that escalated and was so painfully obvious by the time the book came out. The Republicans spread lies about a deadly pandemic and are responsible for hundreds of thousands of dead Americans. Kristen and Benjamin saw those things and still thought it was a great idea to put out a book telling kids “political” differences didn’t matter. Penguin books decided to publish it and at no point did they pull it or issue a disclaimer. I doubt they even questioned it since a celebrity wrote it. Kristen is still acting like this book is a great idea and she’s still promoting it using the same sh-tty talking points she used this summer. She’s shown us who she is.

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14 Responses to “Kristen Bell is still promoting her ‘both sides’ Purple People kids book”

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  1. Kaylove says:

    I’ve never been a fan and this just has me doubling down.

  2. GuestwithCat says:

    I never realized before how scary her husband’s eyes are. Or intense. Or something. Maybe it’s just the photo. But yikes!

    The time for being centrist as I once was and seeing both sides, as I once did, is long gone. The Republicans are engaged in sedition and mass murder (virus denial) and racist oppression and are trying to incite a civil war. They’re not even trying to be subtle about it anymore, the racism that they disguised as so many other things is now seeping out through their pores.

    I don’t live anywhere near Georgia but I’ve been sending anything I could spare to support the Democrats in the runoffs.

  3. Elizabeth says:

    Politics is not a mere difference of opinion in fashion or sports teams, because Republicans are enabling racist and murderous policies. The number of sexual assault claims against ICE from *children* in their custody was over 4000 the last time I checked. But I guess the little Black or Indigenous children & infants just needed to talk it through with the white paramilitary forces oppressing them.


  4. alibeebee says:

    Yep … trusted my guts and she is definitely cancelled for me. It irks me when people choose to keep their heads in the sand. you see the injustices and still come up with unimaginable mental gymnastics to keep your life ” issue free”. Must be nice to have that luxury .

  5. GoogleIt says:

    Two privileged white people telling others how to react.

    I read this the other day and it resonated. “What you call grudges, I call boundaries. “

  6. Chris says:

    Why do so many rich white actors think they should write books? I just can’t with her or Dax anymore. The utter lack of self awareness.

    • GoogleIt says:

      Author Jane Casey recently tweeted about this. She wrote: “If you’re a celebrity author and you want to be seen as an author who is a celebrity, use your profile to talk about other writers whose books you love. Show you care about a) your genre b) your readers c) authors who don’t have your opportunities, instead of being defensive.”

  7. Sarah says:

    And this ladies and gentlemen is what white privilege looks like. This is a terrible idea and she just keeps going further down in my estimation, she’s in a bubble and happily staying there.

  8. Valerie says:

    Big yikes.

  9. Coco says:

    Any good children’s books we can recommend instead? Of the books I’ve gifted to my friends’ kids, “Not Quite Narwhal” and “Horse Meets Dog” have been big hits. One that’s in my house until I get around to mailing presents is called “We Don’t Eat Our Classmates.”

    • Coco says:

      For board books, the “My Art Book of” series by Shana Gozansky or anything by Janik Coat.

    • GoogleIt says:

      Depending on the age but these are great:
      “Stamped” by Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds
      “All American Boys” by Jason Reynolds (Really anything by Jason Reynolds)

  10. Watson says:

    This is a solid no for me