The real story behind Roald Dahl's character Charlie in Charlie And The Chocolate Factory.

It may have been nearly 50 years since Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory premiered, but it still hasn’t left the limelight.

As a childhood favourite and a timeless classic, it’s no wonder fans are still constructing elaborate fan theories about the film.

The movie took us to the most magical, awe-inspiring place on earth as Charlie Bucket, Veruca Salt, Violet Beauregarde, Mike Teevee and Augustus Gloop explored Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory.

But according to Felicity Dahl, the widow of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory author Roald Dahl, the book and film’s storyline didn’t pan out as Dahl had originally intended.

Speaking to BBC Radio last year, Dahl’s wife said that Charlie Bucket was originally supposed to be Black.

“His first Charlie that he wrote about was a little Black boy,” Felicity Dahl told the radio station.


She added that it was a “great pity” that her late husband’s character was changed to a white child and played by a white boy in both of the novel’s two film adaptations.

Roald Dahl’s official biographer Donald Sturrock also explained in the interview why Dahl’s character was changed in the fear that he might not have appealed to readers.

“I can tell you that it was his agent who thought it was a bad idea, when the book was first published, to have a Black hero,” Sturrock explained.

“She said people would ask: ‘Why?'”

Felicity Dahl said that it would “be wonderful” to see a new adaptation of the book with a Black protagonist

The revelations from Felicity Dahl came as a surprise to many who have accused Dahl of racism in his novels.

In Charlie in the Chocolate Factory in particular, the Oompa Loompas were originally Black pygmies from Africa.

According to Catherine Keyser, an associate professor of English at the University of South Carolina explained that Dahl was “genuinely surprised and annoyed” to hear that the original Oompa Loompas were found to be offensive.

“That’s the power of racism — to make someone able to hold these contradictory views at once,” she told the New York Times.

“To both identify with the underdog [by making Charlie Black] and seem to understand the pain of stereotype, but then be completely flummoxed that anyone finds the Oompa Loompas offensive.”

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