Pepe Le Pew has reportedly been cut from the Space Jam sequel after people started complaining about the character’s indecent actions.
As Deadline reported, the Looney Tunes character, which previously appeared in Space Jam (1996), has now been ditched from the movie’s live-action sequel.
Prior to his cancellation, Pepe was set to appear in Space Jam 2 for a scene featuring actress Greice Santo and NBA star LeBron James.
According to Dateline, the scene, which was filmed back in 2019, showed Pepe Le Pew grabbing and kissing the arm of the female character played by Santo. In response, Santo slapped the skunk and poured a drink over its head. Meanwhile, LeBron James went on to school the skunk about his manners and told him not to touch people without consent.
Despite being an activist herself, Santo slammed the decision to cut the controversial scene from the movie saying it could serve as a lesson to the younger audience.
“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,” the actress’s spokesperson said.
“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.”
Pepe Le Pew’s cancelation follows shortly after New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow started a heated debate by suggesting that the skunk was “normalizing rape culture” with his actions.
“Blogs are mad [because] I said Pepe Le Pew added to rape culture. Let’s see. 1. He grabs/kisses a girl/stranger, repeatedly, [without] 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 author wrote in a Saturday 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.”
The columnist went on to blast his critics for defending the imaginary character saying: “Misogynists – just like racists and homophobes – will defend to the death their ‘right’ to exercise their harm, and to in fact excuse the harm as harmless.”
Following the complaint, people were left divided, whereas some suggested the cancel culture is getting out of hand while others called for Pepe Le Pew to be canceled entirely.
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