Pepe Le Pew appears to have become the new target of cancel culture shortly after six titles by Dr Seuss got canceled.
Taking aim at the popular Looney Tunes character was The New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow who suggested the French skunk is “normalizing rape culture” with his actions and behavioral traits.
Speaking of the ‘troubling’ character that was on a never-ending mission to find love, Mr Blow slammed Pepe saying he’s grabbing and kissing strangers without consent in the popular cartoon.
“Some of the first cartoons I can remember included Pepé Le Pew, who normalized rape culture; Speedy Gonzales, whose friends helped popularize the corrosive stereotype of the drunk and lethargic Mexicans; and Mammy Two Shoes, a heavyset Black maid who spoke in a heavy accent,” the writer penned in his NYT piece titled ‘Six Seuss Books Bore a Bias’.
He later also took to Twitter to defend his accusations and explain why Pepe Le Pew should no longer have a place in modern society.
“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,” Blow tweeted following a backlash.
“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 author went on to slam the critics who dare to defend the cartoon 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.”
After starting a controversial debate surrounding the popular cartoon, Blow received a lot of support from the netizens of whom many agreed that Pepe Le Pew should be canceled.
Some, however, fought back and insisted that the cancel culture is getting out of control.
“If the NY Times says Pepe Le Pew adds to rape culture, what will they say about the Coming 2 America sequel where the entire plot is based Leslie Jones’ character date-raping Prince Akeem?” activist Jack Posobiec wrote.
“First they came for Potato Head and I said nothing. Then they came for Dr. Seuss and I said nothing. Now Pepe Le Pew,” The Daily Beast columnist Wajahat Ali tweeted in a reference to the ‘First They Came’ poem which speaks about the Nazi going after people until there’s no one left to resist.
Another person took to Reddit to share their point of view on the Looney Tunes character and the moral of the story saying: “I think the story of Pepe is about how if a woman is just not interested she’s not interested and you shouldn’t keep pursuing I think this because Pepe never gets the girl and when the tables turn he becomes the one uncomfortable.
So I think the moral of Pepe is in fact about respecting women and not to be a skunk.”
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