Decades from now when we’re all dead and gone, film scholars will be looking back at Space Jam: A New Legacy and wondering what the hell the people of 2021 were thinking. We have a project that faced such a bizarre number of controversies in the buildup, all of which were swiftly overlooked and forgotten about, which then proceeded to deliver an almost two-hour ad for Warner Bros. when it finally arrived, kicking off yet another wave of backlash.
At the end of the day, we’re talking about a live-action/animated/CGI blockbuster catered towards children where LeBron James and Bugs Bunny team up to defeat Don Cheadle and his goons in a game of basketball, where the spectators include murderers, rapists, sexually repressed nuns, inter-dimensional clowns, sadistic former child stars and King Kong, so weird is just one of the operative words.
Among the many furors to grip A New Legacy, which included the threat of a boycott after James’ perceived endorsing of violence against law enforcement and the entire Pepe Le Pew fiasco from start to finish, came when some folks got up in arms that Lola Bunny wasn’t sexy enough anymore. How people spend their personal time thinking about cartoon rabbits is entirely up to them, but in a new interview director Malcolm D. Lee said he found the whole thing to be very strange.
“I had no idea that people would be that up in arms about a bunny not having boobs. Listen, I understand people don’t want things to change, but I think we needed some evolution with her, not by objectifying her but by making her strong and still feminine. And, yes, we had all these other women who were like, ‘Oh, you can’t be strong and have big boobs?!’. Sure you can, but we’re talking about a cartoon bunny, not women!”
Zendaya then came in for some flak when the first clip following her confirmation as the character was making the rounds, if only because she was doing what was asked of her by reading the lines in the script. Space Jam: A New Legacy looks set to live long in the memory, then, just not because of anything that happened onscreen.