Cancel culture isn’t just for humans anymore. No, anything can be canceled these days and no character is safe. That’s the case with Pepe Le Pew of Warner Bros. and Looney Tunes fame. It appears the French skunk has been discontinued and will no longer be making any appearances on-screen in animated productions. It was a stinky run for the character, but we’ve seen the last of his put-on accent. Dude is officially phased out of the cartoon world.
This news of Pepe Le Pew and his cancellation comes after the character was removed from the upcoming remake of Space Jam. Apparently, in the remake, A New Legacy, the character had a planned scene that was supposed to occur between the cartoon version of him and the actual actress Greice Santo. There was also apparently a definitive scene that would have addressed Pepe’s past behaviors when it came to his advancements towards females in the cartoons.
But then some Pepe Le Pew backlash started when New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow rang in on Twitter with a takedown of the character. He didn’t mince words when it came to what the skunk had done and been associated with in the past Looney Tunes stories. This was in response to a column he’d written on the subject. Here was that tweet:
In the wake of this message and others shining a light on how Pepe Le Pew was portrayed in his actions in previous cartoons, Warner Bros made the decision to just remove the scene and the character from the movie. They also made the call to just discontinue Pepe altogether. He won’t be appearing in any more of the studio’s works going forward. Rather than have the character learn from his actions or have others stand up to his behavior they just decided to move on. It’s probably for the best.
Pepe Le Pew probably hung around longer than any unfunny, one-trick-skunk ever should have in the entertainment industry. He originally hit the screen all the way back in 1945 and had been pursuing Penelope Pussycat for decades now. He never actually found love in this way and its obvious now that the character’s actions were in pretty poor taste. This latest incident wasn’t the first time that someone had called the character into question, but it will be the last. Warner Bros won’t be bringing him back in any fashion.
Though Space Jam: The New Legacy won’t have Pepe Le Pew anywhere in it, the near-entirety of the Looney Tunes universe is set to reprise their roles from the original movie. In that one, Michael Jordan helped lead a team of basketball players against the Monstars. In this latest movie, it’s Lebron James leading the way. The first story involved playing hoops against aliens. In this one, they’ll tackle some A.I. evil when James and company get trapped in a computer game. Space Jam: A New Legacy is set to hit theaters this summer in July. Just don’t expect the French skunk to make an appearance. He’s out for good.