Distasteful Toons: the Top 5 Most Offensive Looney Tunes Characters

By TK Kelly February 27, 2013 View all posts (173)
Image credit: 24.media.tumblr.com
You all likely remember Looney Tunes as the whacky cartoons that kept you laughing as a kid. But how clearly do you really remember them? Turns out, many of the beloved characters would have a pretty hard time landing a place on children’s TV today. These are the top five most offensive Looney Tunes characters

5 Bugs Bunny

This list wouldn’t be complete if the chief offender himself weren’t on here. Bugs may have been the face of Looney Tunes, but he was also offensive in nearly everything he did. He dressed in drag and seduced his enemies. He pretended to be an effeminate hairdresser. He also insulted the intelligence of his enemies at every turn, calling them nimrods, morons and “idjits.” And as a capper, he’d often kiss them just before subjecting them to unspeakable violence. In short, Bugs Bunny was a real jerk.

4 Yosemite Sam

Oh, that Yosemite Sam , he just couldn’t seem to control his anger issues. As the resident diminutive, rage-filled redneck of the Looney Tunes universe, Sam served as a less than flattering depiction of the good old Texas gun nut. He may have been the “rootin-est, tootin-est, gunslinger in the West,” but he wasn’t too likely to dominate an IQ test. That is to say, he probably wasn’t the “readin-est.” Yosemite Sam was trigger happy and quick to threaten any “varmint” with a good murdering, both marks of any truly great children’s character.

3 Willoughby

You probably don’t remember who Willoughby is, but you might recognize this quote; “Which way did he go George? Which way did he go?” Yeah, that’s him. Willoughby was the less than intellectual dog who was tricked by his fox counterpart, George (who sounds an awful lot like Bugs Bunny). Now, since “Of Fox and Hounds” was a not too subtle parody of John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men,” we can easily see that Willoughby is the Lennie of this respective situation. Which means the joke here, is that the dog is mentally retarded. Wow.

2 Foghorn Leghorn

It’s a little known fact that there were actually a handful of Looney Tunes cartoons that were withheld from syndication because they were deemed too racially offensive. It’s even more surprising that Foghorn Leghorn was somehow not one of them. While Foghorn is never overtly racist, he does represent a particular stereotype of an old-time southerner who comes off like he’d definitely be racist behind closed doors. On top of that, Foghorn Leghorn is a lazy, heavy set, slow-talking, good ol’ boy that’s constantly being chased by undereducated chicken hawks and/or dogs. Not exactly a ringing endorsement for the American South.

1 PepéLe Pew

French people. Cats. Women. The real question here is, who isn’t Pepé Le Pew ; Le Pew offensive towards? Pepé easily takes the cake here, thanks to the fact that at the core of his character’s “whimsy” is an alarming penchant for sexual assault. Honestly, what is so funny about a crazy-horny, French skunk who frolics around in pursuit of a cat he desperately wants to violate? And have you seen that cat eyes when he gets a hold of her? She’s clearly terrified. She scratches and claws in hopes of freeing herself from his overly amorous grip, all while he plants unwanted kisses on her and tells her exactly what he plans to do to her. This guy is seriously sick.

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