Elmer Fudd is hunting wascally wabbits on the new Looney Tunes shorts on HBO Max, but he won’t be sporting his hunting rifle.
This decision has caused quite a stir on various news outlets and social media. I mean, Fudd is literally a hunter. Taking his guns away seemed like an odd decision.
But according to Michael Ruocco, an animator who worked on the series, it was seemingly up to Warner Bros. to lose the rifle as the show went into production not long after the Las Vegas shooting.
Also, think about context about what's going on in the world, and how long ago our show started production. Late 2017, early 2018. Right on the heels of a record number of mass shootings, particularly the horrific one in Las Vegas. NOBODY wanted to touch guns working in media.
— Michael Ruocco (@AGuyWhoDraws) June 7, 2020
He’d end with a call for people to get over it and imply that people who didn’t want to see Fudd lose a defining characteristic were “boomers.”
My last word on the subject: pic.twitter.com/4nUUVydXle
— Michael Ruocco (@AGuyWhoDraws) June 8, 2020
Disney has been disarming characters for awhile now.
While the “Fudd fiasco” is making waves because it’s new entertainment featuring a character most closely associated with guns, Disney has been quietly been “disarming” characters for years.
Well, at least in the Disney comics.
I know this because I worked on Disney comics for a number of years, and have personally been tasked with “de-gunning” old comics and strips for publishers like IDW.
And we’re talking five to ten years ago. No one noticed.
In one strip in particular, Mickey was waving a gun at a dangerous crook. That firearm had to be drawn out of the panels, which left Mickey looking like he was randomly pointing into the sky or hiding his hands behind his back while talking to an armed villain. It was pretty ridiculous.
While I think most normal people would understand that these comics were created in another time, companies like Disney and Warner Bros. seem to be overly cautious sometimes.
And it’s not just limited to the Disney Comics. With Disney+ coming under increasing fire for nonsensical censorship of classic movies and TV shows, it’s unlikely that Disney will change its attitudes toward its classic entertainment any time soon.
While it’s somewhat understandable that “kid’s entertainment” for modern audiences might be subject to “modern sensibilities,” censoring classic material is pretty baffling. Most intelligent people fully understand that this content was created in a different day and age.
And in time, companies like Disney and Warner Bros. may come to learn that Twitter and “Karens” don’t speak for the vast majority of their audience.
But hey, sometimes studios just get caught up in the moment.
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles weren’t allowed to use their ninja weapons for awhile in the early 1990s. And once the uproar died down, they went back to using them.
This censorship craze may one day pass, and maybe Elmer Fudd will live to shoot again.