The famous (well, I guess they’re infamous now) Looney Tunes were very much about teaching children moral and civil behavior. Bugs Bunny taught kids that keeping cool and using your brains was the best way to navigate life. Daffy Duck taught us that losing your temper always ends in disaster. Elmer Fudd taught us that violence doesn’t solve anything. Yosemite Sam taught us bullies eventually meet their match. Wile E. Coyote taught us the price of obsession. Porky the Pig taught us the virtue of earnestness. Foghorn Leghorn taught us the sin of bluster and ego and feuds.
No one ever walked out of a Looney Tunes cartoon wanting to be Daffy or Wile or Elmer or Yosemite or Foghorn. No, you walked out wanting to be Bugs Bunny or Speedy Gonzalez or the Road Runner. Why? Because they were the cool ones, the smart ones, the crafty ones who prevailed.
And let me further assure you that no one ever walked out of a Looney Tunes cartoon wanting to be Pepé Le Pew, which is why the blacklisting and canceling of this character only proves one thing: that today’s Woke Hitler Youth are not interested in morality but only in censorship and flexing their own tyrannical virtue.
Let’s begin with the fact that Pepé Le Pew is, by any measure, one of the most disgusting creatures in the animal kingdom: a literal skunk. What’s more, Pepé has no idea he stinks or that his odor disgusts everyone around him. On top of that, he’s an oblivious, narcissistic moron, the butt of every joke who always loses in the end, oftentimes by getting a well-deserved dose of his own medicine.
In 1950, the Pepé Le Pew short For Scent-imental Reasons won the Oscar for Best Animated Short, and the plot is fairly boilerplate for a Pepé Le Pew cartoon.
Pepé mistakes Penelope the Cat for a fellow skunk, falls madly in love on sight, makes a total fool of himself chasing her, but in the end, due to an accident, Penelope (who now looks awful) mistakes Pepé for a cat and confronts the horrified skunk in a trapped space. The short closes with a mortified Pepé on the run from Penelope.
At no point, in any one of his shorts, do we want Pepé to succeed in his pursuit. Throughout we feel embarrassed for him and uncomfortable for Penelope, and at the end, when the tables turn and Pepé is a “victim of love,” we’re satisfied he got what he deserved and hope he learns his lesson.
What could be more moral than that?
The lessons are obvious. The Pepé Le Pew franchise told young boys they’re not God’s gift to women, and that unless they’re sensitive and self-aware during the courting ritual, they’re destined to live the lonely life of a laughingstock who got what they deserved.
Overall, Pepé Le Pew tried to teach everyone, most especially young boys, that nothing is more unattractive to the world than a sense of entitlement so warped that you don’t even know how badly you stink.
How many young boys have you seen aping Pepé Le Pew? Was he a hero on your playground? Because when I was growing up and Looney Tunes were still being rerun uncensored, we all said “What’s up, Doc?”
Claiming that Pepé Le Pew promotes the rape culture is like claiming Yosemite Sam promotes animal abuse or Bud Abbott promotes bullying or Inspector Clouseau promotes violence or the Bible promotes incest and killing your brother or Lolita promotes child molestation or Goodfellas promotes the mafia.
Judging any of the above on content rather than the moral of the story is an act of breathtaking and willful ignorance. Which brings me to Charles Blow, the fascist New York Times columnist who successfully launched the blacklisting jihad against Pepé Le Pew and a (so far) unsuccessful one against Speedy Gonzalez.
Is Blow either too dense to grasp the not-at-all-subtle nuances of a literal cartoon character, a literal skunk, who never succeeds and who we all laugh at? Or is Blow just looking to throw around his weight, which is something all McCarthyites do?
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. pic.twitter.com/CbLCldLwvR
— Charles M. Blow (@CharlesMBlow) March 6, 2021
As long as there has been an America, there have been fascist, self-righteous liars, and humorless bullies like Charles Blow and his political soulmate Joseph McCarthy. But the only time this country shames itself is when these monsters are listened to and taken seriously.