On Sunday, Peter Browngardt, executive producer and showrunner of the iconic ‘Looney Tunes’ cartoons, told The New York Times that characters in the new series of the animated comedy, which premiered last week on HBO Max streaming service, will no longer use guns.
Fans of the famous Looney Tunes cartoons were surprised by the big change in the new episodes of the show, as the main character of the iconic short series, Elmer Fudd, has been stripped of his rifle.
On Twitter, where hashtag #LooneyTunes has been trending, fans reacted variously to the new adjustments, with some declaring that the new episodes “won’t be playing” in their house if Elmer Fudd was not going to appear with his weapon.
“@hbomax You now are just another weak, woke network. You may as well kill him off. It’s not Elmer Fudd then. Call him Elmo Dudd. Looney Tunes is nothing vs Call of Duty! Have no fear. We didn’t all grow up killers due to Elmer!” one user wrote.
In a short clip released by Warner Bros., the company producing the cartoon series, Elmer appeared holding a scythe instead of his traditional hunter gun as he tries to catch rival Bugs Bunny.
The producers cited the spread of gun violence as the reason for the recent change in the short series content.
“We’re not doing guns,” said executive producer Peter Browngardt of Looney Tunes cartoons, qouted by The New York Times. “But we can do cartoony violence — TNT, the Acme stuff. All that was kind of grandfathered in”.
Another Twitterian claimed that the new Looney Tunes seasons are not going to be successful.
“Whether Elmer Fudd has a gun or not is a moot point The new #LooneyTunes is going to suck compared to the 60’s version,” he wrote.
At least one user argued that apparently “people only love Looney Tunes for the guns” but not the for the talent of the producers of the classic cartoons.
In response to fans comments on the new episodes, Michael Ruocco, an animator on New Looney Tunes and Looney Tunes Cartoons, said, “It was never about the gun, it was about Elmer’s flawed, challenged masculinity”.
“Do you guys SERIOUSLY care whether or not Elmer Fudd has a gun in our shorts? You know how many gags we can do with guns? Fairly few,” Ruocco tweeted. “And the best were already done by the old guys. It’s limiting. It was never about the gun, it was about Elmer’s flawed, challenged masculinity”.
Warner Bros. first released Looney Tunes cartoons in the 1930s, considered to be the golden era of the American animation industry.