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Elmer Fudd will no longer use guns in new Looney Tunes episodes

In 'Looney Tunes Cartoons,' the newest collection of shorts from Warner Bros. Animations, guns are not commonplace.

Elmer Fudd will no longer use guns in new Looney Tunes episodes
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

The United States has the worst track record on gun violence out of all the developed countries in the world. While Congress remains quiet about the rising death toll and all the mass shootings, there is one company that is trying to do something about it: Warner Bros. Animation. The production company recently premiered its new collection of shorts, Looney Tunes Cartoons, on HBO Max. Though the show has the original "look and feel" of the older episodes, there is one thing missing. That would be Elmer Fudd's iconic gun. This is because the animators made an active effort to not include guns in their new material, The New York Times reports.



The new series has been called "a throwback effort." It hopes to spark childhood memories for older viewers while still being fit for a younger generation of viewers who have access to content at the click of a button. Unlike other reboots from the past, Looney Tunes Cartoons "hearkens back to the franchise’s roots." The gun violence of the old series, however, has been left in the past. The "cartoony violence" has been kept intact, though; if you have a sense of nostalgia for sticks of dynamite, intricate booby traps, anvils, and bank safes dropped on unsuspecting heads, you will not be disappointed.



Peter Browngardt, the series executive producer and showrunner of Looney Tunes Cartoons, said in an interview with The New York Times, "We’re not doing guns. But we can do cartoony violence — TNT, the Acme stuff. All that was kind of grandfathered in." He did not state that the decision was explicitly a nod to curbing gun violence (and how the non-depiction of guns may play a role in that). Nonetheless, there is some suspicion that it was, in fact, a mindful resolution. Yosemite Sam, another beloved Looney Tunes character, will also not sport any guns. In the newest episode of the series, 'Dynamite Dance,' Fudd uses a scythe to chases his arch-nemesis Bugs Bunny around. In response, the famous rabbit uses explosives to blow Fudd up several times.



While there is much to be said about whether the depiction of violence in any form is okay, this is definitely a step forward in the right direction. In one study published in the International Journal of Child and Adolescent Health, researchers found that the depiction of gun violence was prevalent in cartoons and had not diminished over time. The impact, they found, was that this correlated with the "media viewers’ perceptions of social reality." If creators of content have the ability to positively influence these perceptions, then any effort to do so is valuable.



Of course, this does not mean that we are on our way to finally enact common-sense gun control or decreasing the number of mass shootings that take place at school, but the creators of Looney Tunes Cartoons are sending out a powerful message. The team is currently working remotely, completing production on the first 1,000 minutes of cartoons from their home studios. That is about 200 cartoons in total. The show is available to stream on HBO Max, the new streaming service from the television network.



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