Randal Rauser on The Sexual Violence of Looney Tunes in the Age of #MeToo

I grew up watching Saturday morning cartoons, the highlight of which was always one and a half hours of Looney Tunes: Bugs Bunny, Road Runner, Daffy Duck, Yosemite Sam, and the rest. Alas, Looney Tunes have not fared well in our age with many critics raising concerns about the violence of these zany cartoon shorts. And while it is easy to be dismissive of “political correctness,” it is eye-opening to consider just how violent some of those cartoons really are. In particular, the gun violence and gun suicides should make any parent uncomfortable.

Today, however, I found myself contemplating another disturbing expression of violence in Looney Tunes, in this case, the sexually aggressive stalking behavior of everybody’s favorite amorous skunk, Pepe Le Pew.

Pepe conforms to the familiar “stalking is love” trope in which the persistent would-be beau who refuses to take no for an answer is viewed favorably and is often rewarded for his persistence.

According to Julia Lipmann, the stalking tropes in romantic comedies can serve to normalize abusive and threatening behavior as part of romance. It isn’t a stretch to suppose that the attitudes which may bloom in one’s teens and twenties might be seeded in one’s childhood.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Randal Rauser