Pepé Le Pew’s been skunked. As I covered Saturday, cartoons’ most amorous animal got recently razed in The New York Times.
Columnist Charles Blow pegged the white-striped romantic as an encourager of evil:
“Some of the first cartoons I can remember included Pepé Le Pew, who normalized rape culture…”
And what exactly is said culture?
According to BuzzFeed News, it’s this:
“Rape culture” is a culture in which sexual violence is considered the norm — in which people aren’t taught not to rape, but are taught not to be raped.
If that’s the world in which we live — and if the Times is right — Le Pew really does stink.
And now there’s more news: According to Deadline, Pepé — originally cast in the upcoming LeBron James-led Space Jam: A New Legacy — was cut from the film.
The follow-up to 1996’s hit starring Michael Jordan formerly featured Pepé as a bartender flirting with a woman played by actress Greice Santo.
— bbz (@bbztbh) December 9, 2016
The scene was already a referendum on the skunk’s wily ways.
Per Screen Rant:
[H]e kisses her arm without permission, she slaps him, and LeBron James tells him not to touch others without their consent.
Greice isn’t elated over the edit, which reportedly occurred quite a while ago.
Santo — an actress and singer who runs a nonprofit that provides aid to victims of domestic violence — was not pleased with the decision to scrap the scene, arguing that having Le Pew be punished and reprimanded for his actions would send an important message to younger viewers that his behavior is not acceptable.
Given Pepé’s plastering by the Times, comedian and voice actor Gabriel Iglesias sounded off on Twitter.
Gabriel plays Speedy Gonzales in the impending summer release.
“I am the voice of Speedy Gonzales in the new Space Jam,” he wrote. “Does this mean they are gonna try to cancel Fluffy, too? [You] can’t catch me, cancel culture. I’m the fastest mouse in all of Mexico.”
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 💨 pic.twitter.com/Ov4wjO00kM
— G a b r i e l – I g l e s i a s (@fluffyguy) March 7, 2021
The answer, if I had to guess: It very well could mean that.
Back to Pepé, it seems the clingy critter’s at the center of multiple maladies.
In 2018, Fee.org offered, “Why Speaking Like Pepé Le Pew May Soon Be a Crime in France.”
From the article:
Reuters reports that Laetitia Avia, a member of the French parliament, has said she is proposing a bill that would classify mocking a regional accent (so called “glottophobia”) as a form of prohibited discrimination.
Avia’s proposal comes after former presidential candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon, a long-time member of the Socialist Party, mocked a journalist’s heavy accent by asking if someone else had a question in “understandable French.”
Avia said she and other members of France’s ruling party would be proposing legislation to save people from public humiliation.
“Do you speak poorer French if you have an accent? Do people have to endure humiliation if their pronunciation is not of the standardized kind,” Avia said on Twitter.
I met a skunk once. Looking back in consideration of the creature’s criminal cred, no wonder he was hiding in the bushes.
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