Dr. Seuss was canceled last week, and six of Theodor Seuss Geisel’s books were discontinued by his own estate, plus eBay yanked the children’s book from its online retail platform. This week’s figure beloved by children that is being canceled by leftists is Looney Tunes’ character Pepe Le Pew, who is a cartoon skunk.
Pepe Le Pew is an animated fictional French skunk who romantically pursues a black cat, who he believes is a skunk. Penelope Pussycat always fights off Pepe’s advances because he is a stinky skunk. To most everyone who has been watching Pepe Le Pew since debuting in 1945, this is a silly cartoon. But for New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow, he doesn’t see a cartoon, he sees this as the normalization of rape culture.
Blow wrote an op-ed about the Dr. Seuss situation, and demanded that other pop culture icons also be canceled. He cited the 1953 Looney Tunes character, Speedy Gonzales, for pushing racist stereotypes against Mexicans. He also condemned Mammy Two Shoes from the classic cat and mouse cartoon “Tom & Jerry.”
He also cautioned the dangers of watching a cartoon skunk, “Some of the first cartoons I can remember included Pepe Le Pew, who normalized rape culture.”
Following blowback from “right-wing blogs” for the column, he attempted to defend his position that the cartoon skunk advancing rape culture.
“RW blogs are mad bc I said Pepe Le Pew added to rape culture,” Blow wrote on Twitter. “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. This helped teach boys that ‘no’ didn’t really mean no, that it was a part of ‘the game’, the starting line of a power struggle.”
“It taught overcoming a woman’s strenuous, even physical objections, was normal, adorable, funny,” he tweeted. “They didn’t even give the woman the ability to SPEAK.” The “woman” he is speaking of is the cartoon cat.
Commenters slammed Blow for the commentary about cartoons from the 1940s.
Radio host Jesse Kelly noted, “To be a Leftist in America is to reside in an imaginary world where everyone (everything) is a rapist, racist, or Nazi. I wish they could see how bizarre that is from the outside looking in.”
Brigitte Gabriel, New York Times best-selling author, quipped, “You just described Joe Biden.”
Radio host Gerry Callahan brought up the numerous sexual harassment allegations against Andrew Cuomo, “In the demented mind of a liberal, a cartoon skunk has to go but the governor of New York can stick around.”
A commenter replied, “You might be a liberal if a cartoon skunk adds to rape culture, but a human governor exerting control and power over five accusers doesn’t.”
Another stated that Pepe Le Pew is the “antagonist and the cartoon treats him like one.”
A Twitter user explained, “For the millionth time, He is not a protagonist character, he is to be interpreted as the bad behavior character who can sometimes learn to change to make fun of people who act like that, much like Elmer Fudd is a joke villain but isn’t always a full tilt villain.”
A person tweeted, “1-Pepe is an animated skunk (hint). 2-He never rapes the cat. 3-It’s an exaggeration of love at 1st sight. 4-Part of the humor is how the cat is going to get the white stripe to make her a female skunk-Pepe le Pew only falls for his own species. 5-Get a life.Turn off the TV.”
Another person joked, “Cartoons ruined my life too. I did ten years for painting a black circle on the side of a mountain. That poor family drove right into it thinking it was a tunnel. I still blame that coyote.”
One person noted that cartoon skunks trying to kiss cartoon cats, probably isn’t the most important topic at this moment in history, “People are dying, losing homes, hungry and yall worried about a damn Pepe Le Pew.”
Another had the same reaction, “Covid had killed 500,000 Americans in one year. California is on fire. Texas is frozen solid. Millions of people can’t find jobs. Millions who work can’t make ends meet. But THIS is what society needs to concern itself with, THIS is a serious root issue that MUST be stopped.”
According to a Twitter search, Blow has not commented about the five sexual harassment accusations against Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo on the social media platform.
Blow did have several tweets celebrating rapper Biggie Smalls, who had several songs with extremely problematic lyrics. The song “Dead Wrong” glorifies physically assaulting women, sexual assault with a broom, and misogyny.