8 Mar – It looks like the ever-romantic slightly-problematic French skunk Pepe Le Pew has been edited out from the upcoming "Space Jam: A New Legacy".
Pepe Le Pew, who originally had a scene with "Jane the Virgin" actress Greice Santo filmed back in June 2019 for the sequel to the hit 1996 movie, reportedly was left on the cutting room floor after the movie's first director Terence Nance left the hybrid project to be replaced by Malcolm D. Lee.
The scene in question is a black and white sequence in what looks like a copy of the cafe set of "Casablanca", in which Le Pew started hitting on a woman at a bar (played by Santo). In true Le Pew fashion, he began kissing her arm, only to have Santo pours her drink on him and slaps him so hard that he is sent spinning in a stool.
Many speculated that the cutting came after New York Times' columnist Charles M. Blow slammed the cartoon character, stating that Pepe Le Pew's often misguided attempt at romance "adds to rape culture", though sources stated that this is not the case.
However, Santo, the actress who filmed the scene with the character, was revealed to be upset by the cut, being a victim of sexual harassment herself.
"This was such a big deal for Greice to be in this movie. Even though Pepe 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 Pepe's behaviour is unacceptable," said her rep.
No words from Warner Bros. about Le Pew's disappearance from the upcoming movie.