Elmer Fudd

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The early version of Elmer Fudd
The later version of Elmer Fudd, who is hunting rabbits

Elmer J. Fudd was the original enemy of Bugs Bunny. Like Wile E. Coyote, Fudd was almost always an antagonist in the Looney Tunes cartoons. Only in early cartoons was he generally a more passive character who was pestered by Bugs Bunny who at that time tended to be more hostile. However, once the characters evolved somewhat he was usually portrayed as an eager, irascible hunter who is generally not very smart and had a pronounced case of rhotacism (a difficulty pronouncing the "R" sound, which would come out like a "W", such as "wabbit"). Occasionally, however, he was given another role such as an actor or millionaire.

History

Elmer Fudd was introduced in the late 1930s, and was used for several decades. In the 1950s, usage of this character slacked off, largely because Arthur Q. Bryan, the voice of Fudd, died in 1959. A few attempts have been made to substitute his voice with another, but none have been entirely successful.[1]

Gun Control Controversy

In 2020, it was announced that Fudd's shotgun would no longer appear in the new series Looney Tunes Cartoons and would instead by replaced by a scythe, with executive producer Peter Browngardt stating in an interview "we're not doing guns, Elmer and Sam are no longer packing".[2]This decision to remove firearms from Looney Tunes came in the wake of Black Lives Matter protests (which are typically paired with calls for stricter gun control) sparked by the death of George Floyd, though Floyd's death did not involve the use of firearms.

Many second amendment advocates saw this decision as a cop-out and attempt at virtue signalling, and the change was heavily lambasted on social media. Looney Tunes Cartoons writer Michael Ruocco defended the decision in a Twitter thread. [3]

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