At Vulture Festival last month, author John Green told us that, if he had to do it over again, he'd rely a little less on Walt Whitman's influence for Paper Towns. But that's nothing compared to the regret he feels for using a particular slur in the same book.
A fan on Twitter recently expressed her disappointment that Green deployed the word "retard" in a line in the aforementioned book ("sometimes he’s so retarded that he becomes kind of brilliant," one character says). Green responded:
@Allyslikeastar Yeah, I regret it. At the time, I thought an author's responsibility was to reflect language as I found it, but now...— John Green (@johngreen) June 12, 2015
@Allyslikeastar ...eight years later, I don't feel like a book about humanizing the other benefited from dehumanizing language.— John Green (@johngreen) June 12, 2015