Millennials, who grew up watching classic cartoon series like Tom and Jerry, The Popeye Show, and Swat Kats to name a few, have noticed the debate around them to be deemed as violent. There have been research papers noting how the theatrical animation of characters using axes, hammers, firearms, firecrackers, explosives, traps and poison to cause harm had a negative influence on its young viewers.
Some believe that violence in cartoons can make children more aggressive, who tend to mimic the negative behaviour they see on television. Meanwhile Franc C. Blumberg, Kristen P. Bierwirth and Allison J. Schwartz argue that children have limited comprehension of television content but relatively sophisticated moral reasoning. Children’s understanding of the immorality of violence on television and the distinction between reality and make-believe may mediate these effects, as may the comic aspect of cartoons they view.
With that being said, a report by The Independent states Looney Tunes characters, including Elmer Fudd, have now been banned from holding guns in their new series that has been released on HBO Max.
Looney Tunes, which aired from 1930 to 1969 - the golden age of American animation, introduced characters like Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Elmer Fudd, Tweety, Sylvester, Granny, Yosemite Sam, Foghorn Leghorn, Marvin the Martian, Pepé Le Pew, Speedy Gonzales, Tasmanian Devil, Road Runner, and Wile E. Coyote among others. It was produced by Warner Bros.
Bugs Bunny, is regarded as a cultural icon and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
However, like all cartoons produced back in the day, this one too holds a massive reel of violent episodes using the popular “TNT” and “ACME” explosives.
Executive producer of the present show, Peter Browngardt asserted that the animated franchise will no longer be “doing guns”.
Fudd, a hunter who chases Buggs in the show is usually armed with a shotgun. However, due to the increase in gun violence in the US, the animators are working to make his catch attempts more creative henceforth. He will be using a scythe instead.
Story editor Jonny Ryan told The New York Times, “We’re going through this wave of ‘anti-bullying, everybody needs to be friends, everybody needs to get along’. Looney Tunes is pretty much the antithesis of that. It’s two characters in conflict, sometimes getting pretty violent.”
Despite the change for Fudd, the new series will continue to include “cartoon violence” and “TNT” and “ACME”.