Iconic Looney Tunes comic book skunk Pepe Le Pew is #cancelled.
Last week, New York Times Columnist Charles M. Blow claimed that Pepe Le Pew, known for his lingering romantic antics, “added to the culture of rape.”
Following the controversial claim, it has been speculated that a live-action hybrid animation scene with Pepe Le Pew, filmed in June 2019 for Space Jam 2 with LeBron James, may have been discarded.
Warner Bros. would also have cleaned up the character of any future Looney Tunes content on HBO Max and other platforms.
Below, here’s everything we know about the controversy surrounding Pepe Le Pew.
Who is Pepe Le Pew?
Pepe Le Pew is an animated French skunk featured in Warner Bros. Looney Tunes Original Cartoon Series. The Pew is known for his sexually aggressive nature, forcing his unwanted advances on female characters – including a cat named Penelope – without ever wooing them with his consent, possibly due in part to his skunky stench. (His last name is a play on the exclamation “PU” when something smells bad.)
Why is Pepe Le Pew trending?
Pepe Le Pew is in fashion after New York Times Columnist Charles M. Blow claimed the character was “added to the culture of rape.” Many believe the character to be problematic.
Does Pepe Le Pew promote rape culture?
Many believe that Pepe Le Pew’s relentless pursuit of female characters in the series represents and promotes rape culture.
“1. He grabs / kisses a girl / a stranger, repeatedly, without consent and against his will. 2. She finds it difficult to get away from him, but he does not release her. 3. He locks a door to prevent it from escaping, ”Blow explained on Twitter.
He continued, “It helped teach the boys that ‘no’ didn’t really mean no, that it was part of the ‘game’, the starting line for a power struggle. normal, adorable, funny. They didn’t even give the woman the ability to TALK. “
According to TMZ, Linda Jones, daughter of Looney Tunes creator Chuck Jones, “strongly disagrees” with the recent NYT editorial.
Jones admits the skunk’s appealing approach doesn’t look good by today’s standards, but claims the character spoke more about how much he stank as a suitor, even though he thought he was desirable . She also says she doesn’t think anyone who’s ever watched Le Pew was inspired to go out and harass people.
Will Pepe Le Pew be in the Space Jam sequel?
Although he starred in the first Warner Bros. Space jam 1996 film, Pepe Le Pew will not be included in the next theatrical sequel Space Jam: a new legacy, released on July 16 Deadline confirmed.
Warner Bros. also revealed that they have no plans to include Le Pew in any upcoming projects.
What was the Cut Pepe Lew Pew Space Jam 2 scene?
Pepe Le Pew was supposed to play a bartender who bangs a woman in a bar Space Jam 2, Deadline reports. In the scene since deleted, Le Pew begins to kiss a woman’s arm, before slamming it on a chair. The woman pours Lew Pew a drink and slaps him. Space Jam 2 basketball player and star LeBron James then steps in and makes a point that Lew Pew can’t grab other tracks without their consent.
Are there any other controversial or problematic Looney Tunes characters?
In addition to targeting Pepe Le Pew, Blow also wrote about his colleague Looney Tunes the character of Speedy Gonzales in his NYT editorial, saying he “helped popularize the corrosive stereotype of the drunk and lethargic Mexican.”
In the original version Space jam movie, the production team thought the character of Lola Bunny would appear too masculine so they decided to make her sexy, highlighting her feminine attributes, such as big boobs and eyes that come here. The hosts dressed the bunny in a cropped top and skirt, exposing her belly and cleavage.
Malcolm D. Lee, Director of Space Jam: a new legacy, Told Weekly entertainment that they made sure this updated version of Lola Bunny was created with “proper length over her shorts” and was “feminine without being objectified,” for the sequel to come.
Last June, Looney Tunes streaming on HBO Max banned the character Elmer Fudd from using a firearm in response to US gun violence.
Space Jam: A New Legacy premieres in theaters and on HBO Max on July 16.