New Space Jam Movie Drops Pepe Le Pew
Jane the Virgin actress Greice Santo, a survivor of sexual harassment, was featured in the scene and she's not happy it was cut.
The new Space Jam movie, A New Legacy, will not feature the French skunk Pepe Le Pew, according to Deadline. The site reported that Warner Bros. planned a scene for the movie involving the skunk and Jane the Virgin actress Greice Santo, but it's been cut. The site also reported that Santo was upset by the removal of the scene, which would have finally given the slimy skunk his comeuppance.
Deadline reported that Warner Bros. filmed a scene with Santo and a CG version of Pepe Le Pew back in 2019 but this has now been cut. Terence Nance, who was the first director on A New Legacy, filmed this live-action scene before he left the movie and was replaced by Malcolm D. Lee.
With Lee now directing the movie, the producers went a different direction. This happened "a while ago," and Pepe Le Pew was never animated and prepared for the movie, according to the report.
Much more recently, there has been a renewed conversation about Pepe Le Pew after Charles M. Blow wrote a column about the skunk for the New York Times that was critical of the creature and his attitudes toward women. Deadline reported that Pepe Le Pew's removal from A New Legacy had "nothing to do" with the NYT editorial.
Deadline also had the scoop on the live-action/hybrid scene for A New Legacy that the original director had in mind. From the report:
"Pepe was set to appear in a black-and-white Casablanca-like Rick's Cafe sequence. Pepe, 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 Pepe into the chair next to hers. She then pours her drink on Pepe, and slaps him hard, sending him spinning in a stool, which is then stopped by LeBron James' hand. James and Bugs Bunny are looking for Lola, and Pepe knows her whereabouts. Pepe then tells the guys that Penelope cat has filed a restraining order against him. James makes a remark in the script that Pepe can't grab other Tunes without their consent."
According to Deadline, Santo was upset when she learned the Pepe Le Pew scene was cut, because she saw it as the skunk finally paying for his slimy actions. Santo herself has been a victim of sexual harassment and recorded a song, "Voce Voce" about empowering woman to stand up to harassment.
A spokesperson for Santo told Deadline:
"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 behavior is unacceptable."
A New Legacy is scheduled to come to theaters and HBO Max in July.
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