By Anthony D’Alessandro

Pepe Le Pew’s problematic behavior appears to have been something Warner Bros. was well aware of before he was called out anew … because he reportedly doesn’t make a single appearance in the new ‘Space Jam.’

©Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection

He starred in the first Warner Bros. Space Jam movie back in 1996, however, Pepe Le Pew will not be showing up at all in the upcoming theatrical sequel Space Jam: A New Legacy on July 16.

With the Looney Tunes French skunk besieged by controversy in the wake of New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow slamming that the cartoon character “added to rape culture,” 

Deadline has learned that a hybrid live-action animation scene between Jane the Virgin actress Greice Santo and Pepe Le Pew, shot back in June 2019 for Space Jam 2 was left on the cutting room floor.

The live-action scene was filmed by the pic’s first director, Terence Nance. As we first reported in July 2019, Nance left the production with Malcolm D. Lee taking over.

Pepe Le Pew had a starring role in the original Warner Bros. film in 1996 (above, with Michael Jordan), he has been cut out of the theatrical sequel Space Jam: A New Legacy

Under the direction of Lee, Pepe Le Pew was eliminated from the sequel a while ago and never animated for the live-action footage which was shot. According to sources who saw a rough cut three months ago, they didn’t see any kind of cameo by the skunk.

I understand that Pepe’s firing from Space Jam: A New Legacy has nothing to do with the recent remarks made by the New York Times’ Blow.

But wait until you hear about the scene with Pepe which was cut.

In the cartoons, the French skunk relentlessly pursues a black cat named Penelope Pussycat. His unwanted advances and inappropriate touching have drawn allegations of misconduct; Charles Blow (inset) angered the internet when he wrote Pepe Le Pew ‘normalizes rape culture’

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.

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