The “Looney Tunes” reboot on HBO Max serves up plenty of nostalgia and brings to mind fond memories of the original series (for viewers of a certain age, anyway).
The new episodes are presented as short videos, varying in length from one to six minutes, and they feature some of Warner Bros.’ best-known characters, like Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd, Sylvester the Cat, Yosemite Sam and more.
There is one key difference between the beloved old cartoons and this new iteration, however: Classic gun-toting characters Elmer Fudd and Yosemite Sam will no longer tote their guns.
In an interview with The New York Times, series executive producer and showrunner Peter Browngardt explained that while the series will retain the goofy violence of the “Looney Tunes” of yore, guns are the one kind of weapon they’re not allowed to show.
“We’re not doing guns,” Browngardt said. “But we can do cartoony violence — TNT, the Acme stuff. All that was kind of grandfathered in.”
This means sticks of dynamite, heavy safes and giant anvils are all A-OK as far as weaponry goes. And Elmer Fudd can brandish a scythe in his efforts to finally demolish that “wascally wabbit,” Bugs Bunny.
As you can see in this “Looney Tunes” video short, “Dynamite Dance,” posted to YouTube, it’s not as though the lack of gunfire has diminished the intensity with which these animated characters can viciously assault each other.
In the interview with The New York Times, indie comics artist and “Looney Tunes” story editor Johnny Ryan asserted that the cartoons will be just as violent as ever because conflict is still at the core of these storylines.
“We’re going through this wave of anti-bullying, everybody needs to be friends, everybody needs to get along,” Ryan told the newspaper. “‘Looney Tunes’ is pretty much the antithesis of that. It’s two characters in conflict, sometimes getting pretty violent.”
A fair number of Twitter users have taken to the platform to express displeasure at this decision, focusing largely on the fact that Elmer Fudd is a hunter, and he couldn’t possibly use any other weapon besides a rifle to do his hunting.
So Elmer Fudd won’t have a shotgun no more because it hurt someone’s feelings. He’s a hunter! 😒#ElmerFudd
— 49erCarlos (@49erCarlos) June 8, 2020
Other folks, like @ReedRichards04, also voiced their opinions that the lack of guns in “Looney Tunes” is silly because the cartoons likely aren’t inspiring gun violence in real life.
What a clown world. Looney Tunes won't have guns on @hbomax. A cartoon cowboy and hunter shooting at a cartoon rabbit has nothing to do with real world gun violence. #LooneyTunes pic.twitter.com/J5mZCZVixW
— Richards (@ReedRichards04) June 7, 2020
And, as one might expect these days, the issue quickly became political, with plenty of Twitter users blaming “PC culture” for censoring the animated series and “taking away the rights” of these cartoon characters.
Meanwhile, a less vocal contingent of “Looney Tunes” fans supports the decision, like @LeoTheIronRock who claims that if you’re a true fan, you know that the cartoon’s appeal is not dependent upon whether or not the characters are holding guns.
— Leo Mairena (@LeoTheIronRock) June 8, 2020
What do you think of these rebooted characters going gun-less?