HBO Max’s reboot of the Looney Tunes cartoon features iconic character Elmer Fudd but without his classic rifle, the show’s executive producer announced.
According to the series executive producer and showrunner Peter Browngardt, the new series Looney Tunes Cartoons — which has launched on HBO Max — will still feature Elmer Fudd as a characteristically violent character. However, he will now carry a scythe instead of a gun and his attacks will be restricted to using sticks of dynamite, booby traps, and dropping heavy objects on Bugs Bunny.
In the original series, Elmer Fudd carries a rifle around as he unsuccessfully tries to hunt down rabbits such as Bugs Bunny. Despite the absence of a gun, Browngardt said that they tried to stick as much to the original as possible.
“I always thought, ‘What if Warner Bros had never stopped making Looney Tunes cartoons?” he added. “As much as we possibly could, we treated the production in that way.”
The Telegraph notes that the decision was taken in response to gun violence in the United States, as large swathes of the entertainment industry continue to rally against America’s right to bear arms.
Storyboard artist Jo Ryan, who worked on the show, admitted that the show is the anthesis of a supposed wave of anti-bullying throughout America.
“We’re going through this wave of anti-bullying, everybody needs to be friends, everybody needs to get along,” he explained. “Looney Tunes is pretty much the antithesis of that. It’s two characters in conflict, sometimes getting pretty violent.”
It is not the first time that producers have eradicated guns from their productions. In 2016, the cast of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton decided against using guns as props during their performance at the Tony Awards following the Islamist-inspired mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida.