If someone asked you, “Which Looney Tunes character will at some point get canceled?,” you’d be hard-pressed to come up with a more likely candidate than Pepé Le Pew, the aggressively horny skunk whose entire deal is pursuing the unwilling object of his affection, Penelope Pussycat. According to Deadline, a scene from the upcoming Space Jam: A New Legacy featuring Le Pew has reportedly ended up on the cutting-room floor, filmed by the movie’s first director, Terence Nance, and removed from the Warner Bros. sequel when director Malcolm D. Lee took over the project.
Moreover, Deadline allegedly has a description of the scene, which features Pepé Le Pew hitting on Jane the Virgin actress Greice Santo in a Casablanca-inspired Rick’s Café setting. After Pepé kisses Santo’s arm, she pours her drink on him and slaps him, sending him spinning on his stool. Admonished by LeBron James that he can’t “grab other Tunes without their consent,” Pepé admits Penelope Pussycat has “filed a restraining order against him.” Meanwhile, this is a children’s movie about basketball!
Santo, however, told Deadline she wished the film had kept the scene, which she says makes pretty clear the appropriate reaction to Pepé Le Pew’s behavior. “This was such a big deal for Greice to be in this movie,” her spokesperson said. “Even though Pepé 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 Pepé’s behavior is unacceptable.” Hopefully they’ll get the message by not watching Pepé Le Pew sexually harass anyone in any Space Jam sequels going forward.