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Thursday, June 18, 2020 

Elmer Fudd no longer hunts Bugs Bunny with a shotgun, but a scythe is okay?

The Looney Tunes animation from Warner Brothers is undergoing political correctness in modern takes on the old classics on HBO, as Elmer Fudd's trusty shotgun is being canned, and Yahoo entertainment (via the American Thinker) has the following from one of the new animators:
Elmer Fudd is no longer hunting “wabbits” while tooled up with a double-barrelled shotgun.

The newly-rebooted Looney Tunes cartoons, showing on HBO Max in the US, have seen the firearms removed from both Fudd and incensed prospector Yosemite Sam.

And while some have leapt to the defence of the animated character's second amendment rights, at least one writer on the show is having absolutely none of it.

Taking to Twitter, Michael Ruocco, who's worked on shows like Bojack Horseman, let fly: “Do you guys SERIOUSLY care whether or not Elmer Fudd has a gun in our shorts? You know how many gags we can do with guns? Fairly few. And the best were already done by the old guys. It's limiting. It was never about the gun, it was about Elmer's flawed, challenged masculinity.
Okay, hold on there a moment. So hunting with guns symbolizes masculinity to the max? This honestly strikes me as little more than a hint the guy buys into the whole offensive "toxic masculinity" propaganda, even though that atrocious notion's been aimed more at men who want to ask a woman out on a date, make love/kiss/have sex together, no matter how consensual.

All that aside, no matter how you look at this, it's silly to claim you can't get much mileage out of jokes with firearms. It doesn't just have to be about the "victim" getting all covered in ashes and soot. It could also be about the gun squirting a whole waterfall at the designated target, washing them away down a stream instead. Or maybe Marvin the Martian could loan Elmer a ray gun with all sorts of absurd powers.

In any case, here's where things take a swerve into the theater of the mega-absurd: as Deadline Hollywood reveals, Elmer will still be hunting after that wascally wabbit with...a scythe blade!
In the new versions of the classic cartoons, Fudd will still be hunting, but will use a scythe. That’s a modification in response to US gun violence, according to a report.

In response to US gun violence, the showrunners will not include firearms in Fudd’s arsenal. That is not to say that he has given up hunting Bugs Bunny, though – he just uses a scythe instead.

“We’re not doing guns,” said Peter Browngardt, executive producers of the series, in an interview with the New York Times. “But we can do cartoony violence – TNT, the Acme stuff.”
So guns are inherently bad...but blades are acceptable, despite how they can draw blood via stabbing the skin, be used for throat-cutting like Jack the Ripper did to at least 5 prostitutes in 19th century England, and even decapitation, as the Pakistani jihadists who took Daniel Pearl hostage did. In Britain, they've had an alarming rate of knife crimes in the past decade, including machetes. If gun violence is a bad thing, why don't the cartoon makers think knife violence is the same? The Federalist noted the hypocritical absurdity, and said that, if the new animators must get rid of firearms from the slapstick arsenal, they should also consider more questionable elements abound in the original cartoons, such as Pepe le Pew:
For the unfamiliar, the basic premise of shorts starring the amorous skunk is that he finds an object of desire, often a black cat that has walked under a can of paint and now resembles a skunk, and then doesn’t take no for an answer.

Beyond the fact that Pepe is an unflattering stereotype of a smelly Frenchman, his refusal to get consent from the targets of his attraction in a way that would make Bill Cosby blush means the classic character needs to be canceled. This isn’t about je ne sais quoi, this is about justice.
I'm wondering if the new animators intend to keep those kind of jokes intact? There is a valid argument to make, in all fairness, that jokes about sexual harassment and abuse simply aren't funny in any era, which is why those early Popeye comics and cartoons where Bluto stalks Olive Oyl and grabs her by the arms could be considered in seriously disturbing and questionable taste today. After the 40s, they usually toned down that approach, so that, while there were still moments when Bluto would engage in such nasty pursuit, they weren't as extreme as originally presented.

The chances these new Looney Tunes in preparation on HBO will prove successful could be pretty low regardless, and depending what types of slapstick are used in the scripts, and what audience feedback is like, it's possible that in contrast to the 20th century cartoons, this new project could tank in ratings. Mainly due to the hypocritical stance they take on violent elements like knives. If guns are a bad thing, then blades must be considered too.

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  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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