Growing up, the Looney Tunes was a special treat. Among other things, I loved watching characters like Yosemite Sam and Elmer Fudd come up short against Bugs Bunny despite being better armed. I didn’t think much of the guns in the show, though, because so many other shows used firearms as well. It was just a part of life at the time.
When I learned we were going to get new Looney Tunes, I was thrilled. I couldn’t help but think about how my daughter would get to enjoy the same kind of entertainment I used to love as a kid.
Only, it seems that anti-gun hysteria has infiltrated the once-beloved brand.
Classic cartoon character Elmer Fudd won’t be holding his famed rifle in a reboot of the Looney Tunes series.
HBO Max premiered the remake of Looney Tunes Cartoons last week, and the executive producer told the New York Times that weapons such as dynamite and other “Acme stuff” will be used in the series but not guns.
“We’re not doing guns,” Peter Browngardt said. “But we can do cartoony violence — TNT, the Acme stuff. All that was kind of grandfathered in.”
Character Yosemite Sam will also not be using guns as weapons, according to outlet Comic Book.
Instead of a gun, Fudd uses a scythe to try to catch his nemesis, Bugs Bunny. The series will feature 200 new episodes starring fan favorites such as Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, and Sylvester the Cat.
So, blowing stuff up is fine–something that is generally considered an act of terrorism in the real world–but a firearm isn’t?
Of course, this is part of the ongoing anti-gun jihad the entertainment industry has been trying to carry out for years now. Usually, their love of money trumps that–there’s a reason we still see action blockbusters every year–but not always.
Many have argued that violence in cartoons leads to violence in real life, yet that’s a claim I’ve always been skeptical of. After all, when Looney Tunes was in regular Saturday morning rotation, you didn’t get much in the way of school shootings. In fact, you didn’t get a lot of gun violence from kids at all.
For many, the new Looney Tunes won’t be the same and many may not even suggest their kids watch the program. The fact that they’ve ordered 200 episodes suggests they’re confident the show will be a hit, but I can’t help but wonder if the removal of such iconic aspects of beloved characters will have negative ramifications going forward.
Then again, it’s also possible that this isn’t a case of trying to message anything, merely a case of pandering. After all, no one wants to be protests, especially when you live in the anti-gun bubble that is the entertainment industry.
What I do know, though, is that they’ve not really accomplished anything except risk the legacy of one of the most beloved franchises in entertainment history.
This is disappointing, but really, none of us should be surprised by it in the least. It’s just the latest example of guns being denormalized guns in the mind of many Americans, to make them taboo. It’s an effort to further stigmatize gun ownership in this country.