A Pepe Le Pew scene was cut from the 1997 movie Space Jam because he’s viewed as a sexual harasser.
The scene in question was described as follows:
“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.”
This is a cartoon and he’s a skunk and he got his comeuppance from the person directly involved. It’s fine. If this cancellation isn’t fascism, I don’t know what is.
These Fascist Democrats can find something wrong with anything and everything.
This isn’t liberalism.
Obliterating Mark Twain and Huckleberry Finn is fascism. The point of the book is the exact opposite of racism. Twain was no racist and the ‘n’ word in the book drives the horror of racism home. The black child Jim is a wonderful boy and Huck decides to save him from slavery although he feels he will go to Hell for it.
Publishers could easily explain the times and the meaning of the book in a forward, but no, we have to erase history and literature instead.
The NY Times is behind a paywall so I’ll just rewrite part of what NY Times opinion columnist Ross Douthat wrote about the disturbing trend in books:
I am not being dismissive here: Tolkien’s chauvinism is a real moral and artistic flaw. But it’s a flaw in a work of genius, just as colonialist subtext in Babar is a complication in a brilliant series of books. In a free society that appreciates greatness, these flaws are good reasons to develop a diverse canon — but terrible reasons to make the works of important artists disappear.
The Seuss cancellations also illustrate how a disappearance can happen without a legal “ban” being literally imposed. One day, the Seuss estate decides to self-censor; the next, that decision becomes the justification for eBay to delist used copies of the books. In a cultural landscape dominated by a few big companies with politically uniform management, you don’t need state censorship for books to swiftly vanish.
Yes, Amazon, the power that controls half of U.S. new book sales and around 80 percent of the e-book market, is still selling the used Seuss. But maybe not forever. Just a few weeks ago the Amazonian giant decided to simply delete, without real explanation, a 2018 book by Ryan Anderson, a Catholic scholar and the head of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, called “When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment.”
As with Seuss, the Anderson deletion has mostly been a conservative cause célèbre. I’ve seen little liberal concern over the dominant player in the book business playing censor in culture-war debates.
But that case is particularly interesting because it’s not exactly that liberals are failing the hard test of defending a book they find bigoted or transphobic. For some that’s true, but I live and work among highly educated liberals, and I know that more than a few of them actually agree with the critiques of current transgender theory Anderson presents. They’re skeptical about the widespread use of puberty blockers for gender dysphoria. They’re wary about the implications for women’s spaces, women’s sports. They don’t share Anderson’s Catholic presuppositions, but they are, at least, J.K. Rowling liberals.
In the last stages of the same-sex marriage debate, I never encountered a flicker of private doubt from liberal friends. But in the gender-identity debate, there are pervasive liberal doubts about the current activist position. Yet without liberal objection, that position appears to set rules for what Amazon will sell.
What does this say about the condition of liberalism? Something not so great, I think. I don’t expect “The Cat in the Hat” to be unpublished or my own tracts to swiftly vanish. But it was a good thing when liberalism, as a dominant cultural force in a diverse society, included a strong tendency to police even itself for censoriousness — the ACLU tendency, the don’t-ban-Twain tendency, the free-speech piety of the high school English teacher.
I don’t know what awaits beyond this particular Zebra, and I’d rather not find out.