“Toxic Masculinity”: Elmer Fudd Will Not Use A Gun In New ‘Looney Tunes’ Cartoons
“Shhh. Be vewy vewy quiet, I’m hunting wabbits…”
In response to the alarming rates of gun violence in the United States, Elmer Fudd of Looney Tunes will no longer be hunting wascally wabbits with a gun. Warner Bros has decided to strip the fictional cartoon character of his shotgun as they debut a new Looney Tunes cartoon series on HBO Max. So, as of this month, Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck will now be hunted by Elmer using a scythe, according to reports from the New York Post. 
The same decision was made for Yosemite Sam, another perpetual threat to Bugs Bunny. While Sam and Fudd’s outfits and characters will remain the same, guns are out of the picture. The company aims to discourage gun use and “toxic masculinity” amongst the younger generation.
They recently released a clip titled “Dynamite Dance” featuring Elmer using his new scythe to chase the bunny. Of course, they engaged in their age-long face-off and the bunny got away after stuffing Fudd’s mouth with a stick of lit dynamite. Anvils on the head, exploding dynamites, and booby traps are still part of the series, but rifles have been taken out.
“We’re not doing guns,” Peter Browngardt, executive producer of the new series, told the New York Times. “But we can do cartoony violence — TNT, the Acme stuff. All of that was kind of grandfathered in.”
In solidarity to the gun control cause
The 200 new cartoons coming up will feature some of our favorite all-time Looney Tunes stars, and the company has hinted that the new changes would actually give the characters a bit of an edge. Across some of the skits, we see Sylvester the cat being hunted by the ghost of Tweety Bird, Porky Pig sucking poison out of Daffy Duck’s leg, and Satan making an appearance in one of the toons.
“Some of them have maybe gone a little too far, so they might come out in a different format,” Browngardt said. “We’re going through this wave of anti-bullying, everybody needs to be friends, everybody needs to get along. Looney Toons is pretty much the antithesis of that. It’s two characters in conflict, sometimes getting pretty violent.”
As of this June, you can now stream Looney Tunes on HBO Max.
Fans are not happy about the decision
The change has received minimal positive feedback from viewers across social media platforms, with thousands of fans insisting that Elmer Fudd hasn’t contributed to the norm with his legendary shotgun and hilarious antics.
Gun violence is a disturbing cankerworm in America where the deaths from mass shootings, homicides, suicides, and unlawful police shootings reached an all-time high of 39,773 in 2017, the highest seen in 40 years.  It dropped drastically by 63% in 2018 and picked up 3% again in 2019.
According to the company, they are only trying to avoid taking on a hypocritical outlook when they discourage gun use, bullying, and violence. However, Elmer is still going to be using a dangerous instrument — a scythe, an age-long symbol of death, so what exactly is the point? Most people online were asking how kids are allowed to play “PG13” games where they can shoot violently from automated machine guns all day, and Elmer’s unreal-looking gun is a problem.
A user on Twitter immediately started the #justiceforelmer #justiceforyosemite hashtags, calling on Warner Bros. to give Elmer and Sam back their guns.
A Facebook user wrote: “Seriously?! We watched Elmer Fudd chase Daffy & Bugs every weekend. If you watch those cartoons you will see Elmer was always outsmarted, and usually ended up with his gun shooting him! We played with toy soldiers that had guns too. It didn’t impress us to go out & shoot people.”
Another wrote: “Come on people, stop! Make them stop with the violent video games! PG13 still has a lot of violence in way too many! Too many places to start, but not Looney Tunes!”
According to one mom, it all boils to indoctrination and the values we teach our kids: “The problem is with people today. We grew up with this and we are fine and my children grew up watching these cartoons and guess what? They are just fine. It’s all about what we teach our kids and how we raise them.”
- “Elmer Fudd stripped of rifle in new Looney Tunes cartoon series.” New York Post. Jorge Fitz-Gibbon. Retrieved June 9, 2020.
- “Gun Deaths Dropped in 2018, Excluding Suicides.” The Trace. Jennifer Mascia. Retrieved June 9, 2020.
- “Gun Violence in America: A State-by-State Analysis. American Progress. Eugenio Vargas. Retrieved June 9, 2020.