Warner Brothers have been producing lovable cartoons for decades. They’re lovable because they relate to so many different people. There’s Daffy, a duck with a speech impediment. There’s Bugs, a bunny with a huge ego. There’s Taz, a Tasmanian devil that has ADHD. Then, there’s Elmer Fudd, a hunter with a rifle.
WB has chosen to go with an anti-gun stance, however, as they ramp up to reincarnate Looney Toons this fall. The animated series will be the studio’s way of approaching gun violence.
What the studio fails to see is that they’re bringing reality into a cartoon. Cartoons have always been a form of escapism. It’s a chance for a laugh. No one really expects to see a coyote using TNT on a roadrunner. We laugh because it’s funny.
When Elmer Fudd goes chasing Bugs Bunny because he wants to hunt a “wabbit,” it’s funny. No one decides that they’re going to commit mass murders with a gun because of watching Looney Toons.
Elmer Fudd used his rifle for hunting. The cartoons always showed him in the woods with his rifle – not shopping centers or schools. Further, Fudd would be depicted getting a pot of soup ready, showing that he was hunting for survival. He was going to eat the bunny because that’s what people do.
Looney Toons isn’t ditching all of the violence. They’re just choosing to do it without a gun – and that’s saying a lot. So, what is Elmer Fudd supposed to use to hunt Bugs Bunny? Well, they’re planning on transforming his character.
Executive Producer Peter Browngardt has said that they’re keeping the “cartoony violence,” which includes the Acme products and TNT. What’s terrifying is that they’ve decided to have Elmer Fudd hunt Bugs Bunny with a scythe. Since a scythe isn’t the most common weapon out there, let’s talk about it for a second. It’s the same weapon that the Grim Reaper is depicted to carry. It’s a large, scary blade on a pole. Yeah. That’s so much better than a gun.
As Browngardt explains, there’s a significant emphasis on anti-bullying in the world right now. Everyone has to be friends with everyone. Looney Toons is the antithesis because there are two characters in conflict. It may get violent, too, which, is probably why they have chosen to have the show air on HBO Max.
What doesn’t make any sense is to keep the violence but get rid of the gun. The gun is only dangerous when wielded by bad people. Elmer Fudd may not be the brightest guy around, but he’s not a bad guy. He’s just a hunter who wants to catch a rabbit for dinner. The only reason that it’s considered bullying in any capacity is that the cartoon has chosen to humanize the bunny. As soon as Bugs is capable of saying, “What’s Up, Doc?” it’s not okay to shoot him.
If TNT is okay, then, why can’t Fudd shoot the bunny? It’s in a hunting environment. If anything, the gun should be kept in the cartoons to show that there is a right way for guns to be used. But WB has chosen to get political – and they clearly aren’t members of the NRA. Next thing you know, we’re going to find out that they’re not only anti-gun but they’re also vegetarian.
Ditching the gun because they’re ditching violence, fine. Replacing the gun with a scythe? A scythe? The tool used by the Grim Reaper to collect souls. WB has clearly not thought all of this through. In an effort to get rid of guns as a way to teach kids that guns are not the answer, they’re going to scar kids for life by showing Elmer Fudd has an older, slower Grim Reaper who is coming for Bugs Bunny’s soul.
It’s still not clear how they’re going to transform Yosemite Sam, another gun-toting character. Maybe they’ll have him carry a mace so that he can bludgeon Bugs…