What The Fudd?

On May 27,2020 HBO Max began airing a series of eighty, eleven minute reinvented classic Looney Tunes cartoons. Reinvented as in “we’re not doing guns” according to Peter Browngardt, series executive producer at HBO Max. Looney Tunes icon Elmer Fudd, bumbling shotgun wielding hunter of “wascally wabbits”  since the early 1940s, now chases “wabbits” with a scythe. A scythe? What the Fudd?

Browngardt is quick to assure cartoon aficionados – “But we can do cartoony violence – TNT, the Acme stuff. All that was kind of grandfathered in.” Dynamite, booby traps, falling anvils, bank safes and pianos remain, guns and get this, “bullying” are out. What the Fudd?

On one hand there’s the NRA giving storybook characters guns – https://notestoponder.wordpress.com/2016/04/05/little-red-riding-hood-has-a-gun/ on the other HBO Max replaces Elmer Fudd’s shotgun with a scythe – https://www.msn.com/en-us/tv/news/looney-tunes-has-taken-elmer-fudds-gun-away-for-hbo-max-revival/ar-BB158Dvu What the Fudd?

How about Yosemite Sam? Will HBO Max replace his pistols with machetes? If this is how American entertainment executives tackle gun violence, I give up. What the Fudd?

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18 thoughts on “What The Fudd?

  1. I have very mixed thoughts on this issue. On the one hand, I grew up with Looney Toons, watched them all, and did not grow up to be a violent person. I hate guns (as you already know), and would never hurt a critter … heck, if there is a spider in the house, I lure him onto a sheet of paper, then release him back into the great outdoors. So no, I don’t necessarily think that these types of cartoons cause kids to grow into gun totin’, critter-murderin’ adults. On the other hand … the gun culture in the U.S. is so far out of hand that it is truly killing our nation. To normalize guns and violence just seems wrong to me. Good post! I remember doing one on the “Little Red Riding Hood” bit, as well. Great minds think alike.

    • In my mind reinventing classic cartoons falls short of changing attitudes toward gun violence. Violence is violence regardless of how it’s dispatched. There are so many other ways to tackle gun culture in America, fiddling with classic cartoons strikes me as woefully absurd. Sigh.

  2. PC to X treems. I think it’s because too many modern people cannot tell (differentiate between) reality & fiction.

    You have to be ‘to the manner born’ to appreciate the differences between humour and real life; I guess moderns are just too (a) ignorant, or (b) literal. Suttle is out, no room no maw for subtles.


      • Indeedy ~! As for any mispellings … hell, I’m a genius at them.

        It’s dark in here right now and my touch-typing needs a lot to be desired, Still on my first morning coffee and brain lags body by about an hour …

  3. A scythe? Really? That’s just … wrong. Scythes have a definitive purpose & it isn’t hunting. It’s to cut WHEAT. Obviously, the woke people at Loony Toons have no history.

    Ya know, I grew up in a hunting environment & I grew up to hunt. I remember many a day, walking around in the woods when there was NOTHING to be seen … & Elmer Fudd would be in my mind. His image would keep me going because I would be LAUGHING at myself … walking around in the woods with a gun! Yeah, I used to love to hunt! I don’t anymore for a variety of reasons. But showing kids that people hunt with SCYTHES is beyond stupid. & it doesn’t change the so-called culture of violence. You can be violent without any weapons whatsoever.

    Maybe they should just scrap the whole project.

  4. Cleansing cartoons with this PC rot? Is nothing sacrosanct? Even fiction? I mean, seriously, where is the bottom to this idiocy? Cartoon character struggle sessions?

  5. It’s a problem, this revision thing. I realized a while back that Popeye had pretty much disappeared. Then I found a video on YouTube and cringed. I used to enjoy Morse on PBS but recently watched it again on Prime and realized how sexist he was. There is this tension between what we grew up with as being “normal” and what our (hopefully) more mature brains think. We see the tension in viewing an old world through young glasses. Perhaps not long from. Now when the generation that grew up with Bugs & Roadrunner & et. al. Have left the scene they will join Betty Boop and other. “beloved” characters.

    I see this very differently than, for example, Confederate statues. There you have legitimate anger by those who had their own history stolen away by slaveowner predecessors, objecting to their subjugators taking pride in their heritage. There is something fitting in the justice of the oppressed exacting some forceful equality a literal sort of tit-for-tat.

    • Look into history, especially that of ‘blacks’ (and Chinks, and Japs, and Horis, and Honkies … hell—EVERYONE does it. Did it. Do you have any answers, for the future? If you have personally enslaved anyone your own guilt is understandable—if you haven’t, yet assume the mantle of guilt: why?

  6. Lunacy. Is every subculture going to have their own version of everything, purged of any reference that might discomfit them? Will we have Christianized versions of cartoons for the fundies, “diverse” versions with a carefully-calibrated mix of races, and on and on? Whatever happened to the value of seeing something exactly the way its creator(s) wanted it to be? Not that these cartoons are great works of art, but the principle remains.

    • If we are to ‘sanitise’; history, and literature … the holey Bible would make an excellent start.
      And then let’s hoe into the Koran — hooo boy, is that one ever RICH in non-PC!

  7. Wow. You have GOT to be kidding me!!! 😳

    Along the same lines as Jim’s comment above/below, it reminded me of Chris Rock’s hilarious skit on Tambourine (2018) about gun-violence via a slow-motion, knife-wielding, psycho-man coming through the crowd for him. Have you seen the skit NtP on Netflix?

    You just talk about gun-control too long and you will get shot! … American’s need the right to HUNT! 🤣


    The pro-gun people retort with “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people. As a matter of fact, if the gunman would’a had a knife he could’a STABBED 100-people to death! Yo… check this out… If 100-people ever got stabbed at the same time, in the same place, by the same person, you know what that would mean? Ninety-seven people DESERVED to die!

    WHAT! You just watchin’ this sh*t!?” Chris bends to the side with big white eyes looking around people… “OH SH*T! Someone just got stabbed! Oooo, he stabbed somebody else!” Chris leans to the other side, shocked… “Oooo, he stabbed somebody else! Ooooo! He gettin’ closer! Ooooo!” Chris jumps up surprised, “He stabbed me!” He starts shaking his head back-n-forth… “I didn’t see THAT comin’! I was standin’ behind 80-people! He’s a stabbin’ fool!

    If you haven’t seen it NtP, check it out. It will break some ribs on you laughing! 🤣

  8. This is a form of rewriting history. We did grow up with these cartoons and that reflects attitudes that are no longer appropriate. Similarly, the BBC has removed « don’t mention the war » from Fawlty Towers. Why, so we can pretend that we tried to cope with our anger towards the Germans through comedy in the 70’s?

    I agree Noted that none of this deals with the issue of violence, it just paints a fake narrative.

    • It’s absurd! Strikes me as woefully misplaced sentiment. Today Nickelodeon Network in U.S. announced cartoon character SpongeBob Square Pants is a member of the LGBTQ community.WTF? My kids grew up watching SpongeBob and his starfish sidekick. SpongeBob festooned lunchboxes during the 90s, he was a bumbling square undersea sponge – at no point did his (they) sexual orientation raise an eyebrow. It’s insane. Surely there’s better ways to promote inclusivity other than reimagining identities of cartoon characters almost exclusively familiar to adults. It smacks of oblivious patronage disguised as affirmative action. Kill me now, I’m so grumpy! Sigh.

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