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The End of Wabbit Season

Somewhere, Beto O’Rourke is smiling. Gun confiscation has begun.

“We’re not doing guns,” Looney Tunes executive producer Peter Browndgardt told the New York Times over the weekend about the cartoon series reboot on HBO Max.

Elmer Fudd’s rifle has been retired and Yosemite Sam’s revolvers removed. Instead, Fudd will now carry a scythe – you know – like the one on the old Soviet Union flag – as he hunts his culinary target, Bugs Bunny. Bugs will sometimes use TNT to defend himself. Symbols of terrorism and communism are preferable to guns for the show’s rebirth on premium cable. No word yet on whether or not one of Fudd’s signature lines, “Say your pwayers, wabbit,” will also be censored.

Browngardt explained that TNT and “Acme stuff” is still okay, because “it was grandfathered in.” Nothing is more grandfathered into Looney Tunes lore than Elmer Fudd’s hunting rifle. He is, after all, a wabbit hunter by trade. But today’s generation of Looney Tunes fans may never know him as such. They will only know Fudd as a crazed, bald man with a speech impediment, who chases a cartoon rabbit with a curved blade on a stick.

If these two comedic icons can be disarmed so easily, it makes you wonder what’s next. Perhaps Lego will de-emphasize its signature police and fireman figures. Oops! Already happening. Lego has also stopped marketing its White House Architecture set. A Lego spokesman said they want to inspire “the builders and developers of tomorrow” to be “tolerant, inclusive and kind.” Marketing Lego cops, firemen and the most historic building in our country apparently stands in conflict with that mission.

With the snowflake culture taking hold in the children’s entertainment industry, the following familiar faces may also be on the endangered species list:

  • The Hamburglar gives kids the unhealthy notion that stealing could land you in prison – something we have recently found out is not the case.
  • Pepe Le Pew, the Looney Tunes skunk who chases cats, is reportedly in hiding over claims of sexual harassment.
  • Fellow Looney Tunes characters, Sylvester, Daffy Duck and Porky Pig have allegedly been bullied for having speech impediments and are now in therapy.
  • Snow White’s friends, the Seven Dwarfs, have gone on strike and are demanding to be called Diminutive Woodsmen.
  • The entire cast of Schoolhouse Rock has been fired for their repeated insistence that children learn proper grammar and how laws are enacted.

Elmer Fudd is the property of Looney Tunes, which is the property of Warner Bros. Entertainment, which is the property of AT&T, which also owns HBO. So clearly, they can do with Elmer Fudd as they wish. And it’s a noble concept to drive gun violence out of children’s entertainment. One could argue how “violent” Elmer Fudd really is, and if he is any less so with a scythe than with a rifle. Kids generally have easier access to sharp blades than to guns, and seeing Fudd swinging away at a rabbit might prompt an eight-year-old to take a steak knife to the family pet or throw a Ginsu at his sister – at least by the logic that was employed in trampling on Fudd’s second amendment rights.

There are far greater societal ills than the sanitizing of an 80-year old cartoon character or an equally ancient plastic block set. But these are symbolic of the drastic and ridiculous decisions being made at various levels in various aspects of society – like defunding or dismantling police departments. That these companies feel compelled to scrub away harmless and iconic (or in the case of Lego – heroic) aspects of what so many generations grew up with is a sad commentary on where we are and where we are going. Certainly, there were racist and sexist themes in some cartoons of the early to mid-20th century. Those have no place in a just society, and they have long since disappeared from the airwaves. But let’s not take this PC culture too far. It’s okay to laugh at Elmer Fudd, with his rifle barrel drooping like a garden hose as he chases that wascally wabbit. Just like it’s still okay to play with Lego policemen.

That’s all folks!

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