Space Jam: A New Legacy finally arrives this summer, bringing all your favorite Looney Tunes characters with it – apart from one. Yes, it’s been confirmed that Pepé Le Pew will not be showing up in the belated sequel. This news arrives in the wake of a recent New York Times op-ed which blasted the cartoon skunk as perpetuating “rape culture.” It’s important to note, though, that Le Pew’s scene was removed from the movie long before this much-discussed article came out.
That hasn’t stopped the internet from getting up in arms over Pepé being “cancelled,” though. The French-accented rodent, known for passionately pursuing a cat named Penelope that he believes is a skunk, debuted way back in 1945, but Warner Bros. has now confirmed that they have no plans to feature the character in any future projects and it’s likely he’s going to be retired for good.
Twitter is full of people’s views on the fate of Pepé, which as you’d expect is becoming tied into a wider discussion about cancel culture. For starters, many cartoon lovers feel bad for the loved-up animal.
Poor pepe le’pew got cancelled and not in the new space jam movie 🙁
— maya wilkes ♊️🥀👑 (@OHTriceyyyy) March 8, 2021
Ummm!!! Excuse me!!?!?? Pepe Le Pew isn't in Space Jam 2?!?!? What the frick y'all got against my boi?????????
— 👑pretty.princess.pixel👑 (@princesspixel) March 8, 2021
#IStandWithPepe is not a hashtag we expected to see become a thing.
— M A R T H A (@monster_martha) March 8, 2021
Deadline, who broke the news about Pepé, detailed his New Legacy deleted scene. It would’ve seen the skunk hitting on a live-action bar patron who slaps him away. LeBron James would then have told Le Pew that he can’t grab people without their consent, with Pepé admitting that he knows that as Penelope has taken out a restraining order against him. It seems like an odd scene, truth be told, but some people think it sounds “pretty awesome.”
Idk, that cut Pepe Le Pew scene in Space Jam 2 actually sounds pretty awesome. A CASABLANCA homage where he gets the shit knocked outta him for leering at a woman & we also find out he has a restraining order against him? I wanna see that.
— Trapper Sean, M.D. (@TrapperSeanMD) March 8, 2021
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Alternatively, others aren’t so much on Pepé’s side and feel his cancellation is long overdue.
It took them 75 years to realize Pepé Le Pew was a sexual predator and he won’t be in Space Jam 2 or any future projects………….. pic.twitter.com/4CHINl5iPt
— Jennifer’s Wheelchair 👩🏽🦼 (@geektify) March 8, 2021
A lot of folks, meanwhile, are just seeing the funny side of the situation.
Pepe Le Pew makes a cameo in Space Jam but he’s wearing an ankle bracelet and there are prison guards standing in the corner
— Misty Graves (@MistyGComics) March 8, 2021
Hot take: did anyone actually like Pepé Le Pew before this scandal?
He’s hardly been in any Looney Tunes stuff for years but watch people pretend that they’re gonna miss him now https://t.co/q844p6Cib5
— Cosmonaut Marcus (@CosmonautMarcus) March 8, 2021
Real life is weird sometimes.
waiting for my bagel and watching a real actual debate on national television about pepe le pew being cut from space jam 2
— spongebob gf (@WOETUS) March 8, 2021
And here are a few more reactions, just for good measure:
did they really cut pepe le pew from space jam 2 because of some bs tweets or am i hallucinating
— 💫 ⋆ 🪐 ✨ 𝑔𝒾𝑔𝒾 ✨ 🪐 ⋆ 💫 (@je_suis_le_gay) March 8, 2021
— Chris C. (@CubedLink) March 8, 2021
They took Pepe le pew off space jam 2 cause my nigga was too smooth. The internet too soft man
— Peter Rollack (@Quayywill) March 8, 2021
Why does Pepé Le Pew get cut from Space Jam 2 yet Bill Clinton gets to co-write best-sellers with James Patterson?
— The Moral Vision (@ethanves) March 8, 2021
there’s no way people are actually mad that pepe le pew was cut from space jam?? like y’all are actually mad??? pic.twitter.com/rEPB1KetJX
— bel (@kendaIIR0Y) March 8, 2021
Space Jam: A New Legacy premieres this July 16th, releasing simultaneously in both theaters and on HBO Max.