Pepé Le Pew is easily one of the most recognizable faces there is in the world of cartoons but the iconic Looney Tunes star is currently in the middle of the controversy as people claim that the animated French Skunk normalizes rape culture. Of course, fans who grew up watching the cartoon pretty much know that Le Pew is madly enamored by Penelope Pussycat and he'll go to extreme lengths just to be with her.
Looking back, however, you'll realize that Le Pew's ways towards Penelope may be a bit too much and NYT columnist Charles M. Bow recently pointed out that the character is in fact normalizing rape culture and he may end up influencing younger audiences especially boys.
Unsurprisingly, Le Pew quickly became a hot topic on social media and the character generated quite the backlash from fans. This eventually led to Warner Bros. Pictures removing the character from the upcoming Space Jam: A New Legacy where he was originally slated to return.
Now, the daughter of the iconic character's late creator Chuck Jones is sounding off after the character's removal from the upcoming film. Linda Jones told TMZ that the current time and climate should be blamed and not the character itself. According to Jones, the running gag surrounding Pepé Le Pew and Penelope wasn't meant to insinuate or promote anything and was only done for comedic purposes.
Now, I wouldn't exactly call Le Pew a victim of "cancel culture" and if anything, it's only right that people are aware of what's okay and what's not. Still, it's quite unfortunate that we won't be able to see the character in Space Jam 2 and it begs the question: why exactly did WB remove his scene? Did it involve his running gag on Penelope? We may never truly know.
Meanwhile, Space Jam: A New Legacy hits cinemas and HBO Max this July.
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