People Want To ‘Cancel’ Pepe Le Pew And Speedy Gonzalez From ‘Looney Tunes’ Universe For Being Problematic

People Want To ‘Cancel’ Pepe Le Pew And Speedy Gonzalez From ‘Looney Tunes’ Universe For Being Problematic WB

Love it or hate it, cancel culture seems here to stay. And while it’s important to hold people, businesses, and other institutions to account for racist, sexist, transphobic, or any other problematic behavior, many believe that we’re going too far and finding offense in things where none should exist. The latest pop culture victims of this trend are classic Looney Tunes characters Pepe Le Pew and Speedy Gonzalez, who many are saying should be removed from the annals of cartoon history for good.

  1. Pepe Le Pew has already been removed from the new Space Jam movie. While the flirty French skunk appeared in the original 1996 Space Jam film, Warner Bros. revealed earlier this week that the character wouldn’t be returning for the follow-up Space Jam: A New Legacy which is due out on July 16. While a live-action scene was shot between Pepe Le Pew and Greice Santo back in 2019, those scenes have since been cut, Deadline reports.
  2. Apparently, Pepe Le Pew “added to rape culture.” This was according to New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow, who said not only did he agree with the recent ban of six Dr. Seuss books which featured offensive portrayals but went on to say that we should also go after characters like Speedy Gonzalez and later, Pepe Le Pew. “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,” Blow wrote in a tweet.
  3. As for Speedy Gonzalez, they believe the mouse is a stereotypically racist representation. One Twitter remarked that while the problems with Pepe Le Pew are pretty obvious, Speedy Gonzalez is, by his very nature, racism embodied and no one seems to mind. “As a kid, Pepe Le Pew really bothered me. I’d think, ‘Oh, no, not another cartoon about the really horny skunk terrorizing a cat.’ I found it weird that adults seemed amused by the whole thing and let us watch it,” Andrew Glisson wrote. “On the other hand, it’s a little disturbing now that back then nobody minded how racist Speedy Gonzales was. Like, almost by definition, it’s a racist cartoon.”
  4. However, not everyone agrees with that assessment. Especially Gabriel Iglesias, the actor who voices Speedy Gonzalez, who took to Twitter to weigh in on the conversation. “I am the voice of Speedy Gonzales in the new Space Jam. Does this mean they are gonna try to cancel Fluffy too? U can’t catch me cancel culture. I’m the fastest mouse in all of Mexico,” he wrote. At the moment, it doesn’t seem Speedy has been removed from the movie.

Jennifer Still is a writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience. The managing editor of Bolde, she has bylines in Vanity Fair, Business Insider, The New York Times, Glamour, Bon Appetit, and many more. You can follow her on Twitter @jenniferlstill