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Elmer Fudd’s return in HBO Max’s Looney Tunes reboot sounded cool, then we got the details. “Warner Bros is stripping Elmer Fudd of his rifle in a new Looney Tunes cartoon series on HBO Max, handicapping the grumpy hunter as he continues his decades-long pursuit of the wise-cracking Bugs Bunny,” the New York Post reports. “The change in the latest incarnation of the iconic animated series is a response to the gun violence in the US.”
This is ridiculous and shameful on so many different levels. Fudd is a historically beloved character and his hunting rifle is his signature. Which begs the questions: Why?
Have we gotten to a place where a cartoon character hunting a bunny, and losing each time, is offensive? Are you saying, in 2020, Fudd and Bugs Bunny’s hilarious relationship is dangerous? Yes, and yes. Not by you, not by me, not by most people, but by the only people that matter: the arbiters.
Over the past few years, we’ve let social media users become the de-facto arbiters of right and wrong. With the support of the media and pop culture, there’s a quest to destroy individual thought. The three out of touch groups concluded you must think like them. If you don’t, your thoughts don’t matter, you are wrong, and you shouldn’t have a voice. There’s no room for debate anymore, there’s only room to follow.
Nobody honestly thinks Fudd hunting a savvy bunny on Looney Tunes contributes to gun violence. This move is about power. These groups have a hit list that includes everything people enjoy. They will not stop until all of it is canceled.
What’s more, it’s bad for business. Warner Bros has politicized a harmless, universal loved cartoon. They made a statement despite alienating at least half of the audience. The list of failures upon politicizing continues to grow. But that’s okay, networks think. At least nice things are being said about them.
Decision-makers across all industries have happily transitioned to listeners. Decisions aren’t based on data in 2020, they are made on demands. Demands that are empowered by fear. Executives are terrified of backlash from the internet. They are incentivized by retweets, likes, and glowing features.
If Fudd is a promotion of gun violence, what’s next? Social media will tell you and the service you subscribe to will listen.