Pepe Le Pew’s scene in the upcoming movie “Space Jam: A New Legacy” was cut, Deadline reported Sunday.
The character was set to appear in a live-action animation scene with actor Greice Santo, but the scene was ultimately left on the cutting room floor, according to Deadline.
Santo was reportedly upset after learning the scene was cut from the movie. The “Jane the Virgin” actor is a victim of sexual harassment and has spoken out about her experience in the past.
“Even though Pepe is a cartoon character, if anyone was going to slap a sexual harasser like him, Greice wished it would be her,” a representative for Santo told Deadline.
In the proposed movie scene Pepe hits on a woman while working as a bartender; he begins kisses her arm, which was when the woman slaps him. LeBron James then tells Pepe Le Pew that you cannot touch other Tunes without their consent, Deadline reported.
“Now the scene is cut, and she doesn’t have that power to influence the world through younger generations who’ll be watching Space Jam 2, to let younger girls and younger boys know that Pepe’s behavior is unacceptable,” the representative added.
Pepe Le Pew’s character came under fire in early March after New York Times columnist Charles Blow claimed the character contributed to “rape culture,” by creating a society that taught young boys that a woman saying no was inconsequential, “that it was part of ‘the game.'”
“It taught overcoming a woman’s strenuous, even physical objections, was normal, adorable, funny. They didn’t even give the woman the ability to SPEAK, he said.” (RELATED: See New Photos From ‘Space Jam: A New Legacy’)
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
“RW blogs are mad bc I said Pepe Le Pew added to rape culture,” Blow tweeted Saturday. “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.”
The French striped skunk who was constantly seeking love in the original Looney Tune series was apparently never animated for the “Space Jam” movie, and the cut decided upon a while ago. The decision reportedly had nothing to do with the discussion over Pepe Le Pew’s behavior, according to Deadline.