Latinos Debate Whether Speedy Gonzales Is a Racist Caricature

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Space Jam 2 is still months away from release, but the internet is already spinning its wheels after Warner Bros announced that Pepe Le Pew will not be part of the film. Why? Well, New York Times writer Charles M. Blow claimed in a tweet that the Looney Tunes character added to rape culture. . Blow also wrote an opinion piece where he addressed Speedy Gonzales, the fastest mouse in all of Mexico, and says Some of the first cartoons I can remember included Pep Le Pew, who normalized rape culture Speedy Gonzales, whose friends helped popularize the corrosive stereotype of the drunk and lethargic Mexicans and Mammy Two Shoes, a heavyset Black maid who spoke in a heavy accent. . . Blows piece was met with a lot of resistance by Latinos on Twitter, including comedian Gabriel Iglesias, who is voicing the mouse in the new film. . I am the voice of Speedy Gonzales in the new Space Jam, Iglesias tweeted. Does this mean they are gonna try to cancel Fluffy too? U cant catch me cancel culture. Im the fastest mouse in all of Mexico. . . While Iglesias jokes, heres where things get murky. Speedys original history stems from the 1950s, where he was literally created to represent an American stereotype of what is considered to be a typical Mexican. . . Was the cartoon racist, offensive, insulting, prejudiced? asks The Huffington Post. Possibly the creators intended it to be so, and exploited the audiences weaknesses, animosity and foibles against foreigners, but in the long run all that backfired and ended up making the whole world laugh at the shenanigans and antics of the hero of the undermouse, Speedy Gonzales, who is quick-witted, fast, nimble, funny, cute and endearing. Hes the fastest mouse in all Mexico a friend of everybody. . . So yes, Speedy Gonzales was created in racism and stereotypes, but as Latinos have done with representation everywhere, we found and attached ourselves to the small pieces of us that we connected with. In turn, we created a Speedy Gonzales into our own hero, outsmarting the white folks, for over 50 years and counting.


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