Did Pepé Le Pew’s scene got cut off from the Space Jam: A New Legacy Sequel for promoting harassment? This is the question that more than once is asking and desperately seeking an answer. The Warner Bros. Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies character got “fired” from the upcoming movie for his aggressive pursuit of romance.
Depicted as a French striped skunk and firstly introduced in 1945, the cartoon’s scene with Jane the Virgin actress Greice Santo won’t be shown in the second part of the iconic film, as reported by Deadline. Allegedly, after Malcolm D. Lee took over the production, he eliminated the scene filmed under Terence Nance’s direction.
The publication had access to the deleted scene and revealed that the cartoon had unwelcome and inappropriate behavior. “Pepé was set to appear in a black-and-white Casablanca-like Rick’s Cafe sequence,” Deadline claims. “Pepé, playing a bartender, starts hitting on a woman at the bar played by Santo. He begins kissing her arm, which she pulls back, then slamming Pepé into the chair next to hers.”
According to the media outlet, in the movie, the actress reacted aggressively towards the cartoon as a defense mechanism. “She then pours her drink on Pepé and slaps him hard, sending him spinning in a stool, which is then stopped by LeBron James’ hand,” they said. “James and Bugs Bunny are looking for Lola, and Pepé knows her whereabouts. Pepé then tells the guys that Penelope’s cat has filed a restraining order against him. James makes a remark in the script that Pepé can’t grab other Tunes without their consent.”
After learning her scene won’t make it to the theaters, Santo’s spokesperson told Deadline that the actress is upset. “This was such a big deal for Greice to be in this movie,” the person said.
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 behavior is unacceptable.”
Space Jam: A New Legacy (also known as Space Jam 2) is a sequel to Space Jam (1996) and stars basketball player LeBron James, Don Cheadle, Khris Davis, Sonequa Martin-Green, and Cedric Joe.
The film also features the Looney Tunes characters such as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Marvin the Martian, Tweety, Sylvester, Foghorn Leghorn, Porky Pig, and Lola Bunny. The film is scheduled to be released theatrically and on HBO Max on July 16, 2021,