Columnist Charles M. Blow claims in a tweet today that the Looney Tunes character “added to rape culture.”
“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.” It’s true … Penelope Pussycat was often in Pepe’s clutches.
Looney Tunes has previously stopped featuring rifles in its updated portrayals of Elmer Fudd.
Blow previously took on Dr. Seuss in an op-ed titled “Six Seuss Books Bore a Bias.” He argued that early exposure to negative imagery shapes perceptions. He mentioned Speedy Gonzales, the Mexican mouse cartoon, as one such negative.
Naturally, there were mixed feelings on line about Blow’s take. But he is not alone in his perception. Comedian Dave Chappelle pointed out the same thing in a classic routine: