Pepe le Pew won’t be making an appearance in Space Jam: A New Legacy.
On Sunday, Deadline reported that the forthcoming Space Jam sequel won’t be featuring one member of the Looney Tunes. After New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow wrote that Pepe Le Pew normalized rape culture in a recent op-ed, sources confirmed that the character won’t be appearing in forthcoming releases like Space Jam: A New Legacy, Bugs Bunny Builders, Tiny Toons Looniversary or any other future projects.
According to sources, a controversial scene involving Pepe from June 2019 was cut from the sequel. Deadline describes it below:
“Pepe was set to appear in a black-and-white Casablanca-like Rick’s Cafe sequence. Pepe, playing a bartender, starts hitting on a woman at the bar played by Santo. He begins kissing her arm, which she pulls back, then slamming Pepe into the chair next to hers. She then pours her drink on Pepe, and slaps him hard, sending him spinning in a stool, which is then stopped by LeBron James’ hand. James and Bugs Bunny are looking for Lola, and Pepe knows her whereabouts. Pepe then tells the guys that Penelope cat has filed a restraining order against him. James makes a remark in the script that Pepe can’t grab other Tunes without their consent.”
The woman was played by Jane the Virgin star Greice Santo, who was reportedly upset about the scene being cut. Santo has long spoken out about sexual harassment, even establishing a non-profit aiming to empower victims of domestic violence.
“This was such a big deal for Greice to be in this movie,” a spokesperson told Deadline. “Even though Pepe is a cartoon character, if anyone was going to slap a sexual harasser like him, Greice wished it would be her. 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.”
Stay tuned for further updates regarding Space Jam:A New Legacy.