Looney Tunes’ Pepe Le Pew Is Being Called Out For Perpetuating Rape Culture

Looney Tunes’ Pepe Le Pew Is Being Called Out For Perpetuating Rape Culture

The skunk will not be returning in the sequel 'Space Jam: A New Legacy'.

Pepe Le Pew has been under the scanner lately with New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow slamming the cartoon character for adding to rape culture. It's hard to deny the skeevy skunk was often seen forcing himself on Penelope Pussycat. Blow elaborated in a tweet: RW blogs are mad bc I said Pepe Le Pew added to rape culture. Let’s see. 1. He grabs/kisses a girl/stranger, repeatedly, w/o consent and against her will. 2. She struggles mightily to get away from him, but he won’t release her 3. He locks a door to prevent her from escaping. The columnist added in a threaded tweet: This helped teach boys that ‘no’ didn’t really mean no, that it was a part of ‘the game,’ the starting line of a power struggle. It taught overcoming a woman’s strenuous, even physical objections, was normal, adorable, funny. They didn’t even give the woman the ability to SPEAK. Reactions have been mixed over Blow's comments.




Jane the Virgin actress Greice Santo and Pepe Le Pew had a scene shot back in June 2019 for Space Jam 2, but it was cut. Malcolm D. Lee took over from the movie's first director, Terence Nance. Pepe Le Pew was eliminated from the sequel under Lee's direction, according to Deadline. The scene involved Pepe being called out for being a creep. Santo's character would slap him hard. Lead LeBron James would remark that Pepe can’t grab other Tunes without their consent. Santo herself has been a victim of sexual harassment and has spoken out against it in the past.


A spokesperson for Santo told Deadline, “This was such a big deal for Greice to be in this movie. Even though Pepe is a cartoon character, if anyone was going to slap a sexual harasser like him, Greice wished it would be her. Now the scene is cut, and she doesn’t have that power to influence the world through younger generations who’ll be watching Space Jam 2, to let younger girls and younger boys know that Pepe’s behavior is unacceptable.” Warner Bros. did not provide comment on Pepe’s elimination for Space Jam: A New Legacy. 


Even legendary stand-up comedian Dave Chappelle once pointed out flaws in old cartoons. He talked about Pepe's behavior in his special, Killin' Them Softly. He pretty much called him a rapist. He discussed other kid shows that were problematic and you probably noticed that only when you get older. While cancel-culture does annoy a lot of people, maybe it's important to dig deep into the issue and learn about why it's being highlighted before reacting angrily at their beloved shows, characters and actors being called out for sending out a wrong message?


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