If you’re a conservative commentator, you’re probably pretty tired these days. After all, you’ve spent the last two weeks being angry about important issues, such as the Muppets, about Mr. Potato Head, and about Dr. Seuss. Now here’s a new complaint: Warner Bros. announced that they’re effectively retiring one of their classic Looney Tunes characters, namely grabby skunk Pepé Le Pew. It’s not as though his existence will be scrubbed from history. It’s just that he won’t be in any Looney Tunes material going forward. Republicans were predictably incensed, and to add salt to the wound, some on social media decided to turn it into a hashtag.
On Monday, #CancelACartoonCharacter started trending, asking those amused by the furor over a very dated character being put to pasture to fake-cancel other animated figures. People didn’t just post pictures; they came up with elaborate and obvious lies about the reason they were “canceled.”
For instance, one person said Clifford, the giant dog, “used steroids to grow and profited off of his illegal drug use.”
— duck named soph (@MissMegaduck) March 8, 2021
Or that Jerry the mouse “is infested with fleas carrying bubonic plague.”
— Gina Pratt (@GinaPra23622738) March 8, 2021
As for Winnie-the-Pooh, he should be canceled “for repeated offences of burglary.”
— Barny Shergold (@barnyshergold) March 8, 2021
Snoopy is “obviously on some kind of hallucinogenic drugs and is therefore an inappropriate role model for children.”
— Victor Overall🧢 (@JamChrisJoy) March 8, 2021
Donald Duck is “87 years old and still refuses to wear pants.”
— EM Brehm (@brehm_em) March 8, 2021
And then there are those (very real) ads Fred and Wilma Flintstone made about the glories of buying cigarettes.
— Rick Wright (@RickWrightNow) March 8, 2021
Mario, of Nintendo fame, “hasn’t had a plumber’s license in 30 years.”
— Mx. Marc (@BadBoxArtMarc) March 8, 2021
Mr. Burns “never pays taxes,” which is actually probably accurate.
— Spacecat Spliff (@SpacecatSpliff) March 8, 2021
As was this one about Dale Gribble of King of the Hill storming the Capitol.
— Ivica Milarić (@filmzadanas) March 8, 2021
And then there’s Pepé Le Pew’s colleague Bugs Bunny, and his famously prophetic bit about Florida.
— Scott 🦁 (@TheScottfather) March 8, 2021
There were a fair amount of SpongeBob characters who deserved to be canceled.
— Bloody Pikatwo (@RegionRione) March 8, 2021
Eugene H. Krabs faces charges of
Attempted Murder, Kidnap
Kidnapping and Torturing of Jellyfish
Impersonating a Police Officer
— 🦖GojiraGekirinVA🦖 (@GojiraGekirinVA) March 9, 2021
Bubble Buddy. He poisoned our water supply, burned our crops, and delivered a plague into our houses! pic.twitter.com/2uMs9f3xan
— JayoftheGet#101DalmatianStreeta2ndSeason. (@jayofthetrees) March 8, 2021
And other assorted cancelable characters.
— Saarah (@Nicktoongrl) March 8, 2021
— JayRon (@the1jwash86) March 8, 2021
— Snoop Joshy Josh (@JoshMarino420) March 8, 2021
— Kirbyfan45 #LocalizePuyoPuyoChronicle #blm (@kirbyfan45) March 8, 2021
— WaffleMakesArt (@WaffleMakesArt) March 8, 2021
And of course, there was Eric Cartman, perhaps the most cancelable of them all.
— Emily J. Bennett (not the imposter) (@EnigmaDream15) March 8, 2021
In the meantime, you know who’s not actually “canceled”? Pepé Le Pew! His many cartoons — including 1949’s Oscar-winning For Scent-imental Reasons — are still available to stream, on the cartoon streamer Boomerang and on HBO Max, the home of the company that forced him to retire. You can make up your own mind about whether or not he, as New York Times columnist Charles Blow put it, “added to rape culture.” And you can admire the beautiful direction of Chuck Jones, who helmed just about every Pepé short from the Golden Age of Hollywood Animation, showcasing a character who will simply have no more new adventures. Probably better that than getting steamed like a conservative.