UPDATE: Barnes & Noble cancels launch of classic novels with new covers following online backlash

DiverseEditions_BookCovers_Gallery_Credit_TBWA_Chiat_Day New York
Photos courtesy: TBWA\Chiat\Day\New York

Barnes & Noble has shelved their plans to release a collection of classic books with new “culturally diverse” covers following internet backlash.

Penguin Random House and Barnes & Noble Fifth Avenue had originally up to give twelve classic young adult novels new covers, known as “Diverse Editions.” The books were meant hit the shelves on Feb. 5, and the books were to be on display in their massive storefront throughout the month of February. Barnes & Noble Fifth Avenue was also supposed to host a launch event to celebrate the release.

Each title had five culturally diverse custom covers designed to ensure the recognition, representation, and inclusion of various multiethnic backgrounds reflected across the country. The new covers are a part of a new initiative to champion diversity in literature.

Following the news of the new covers, many Twitter users expressed their anger and disappointment over the situation, citing that a better option would have been to promote authors of color.

Barnes & Noble released a statement on Twitter acknowledging the concerns of the public and ultimately canceling the release event at the store.

Updated at 6:30 p.m.