Entertainment

Gabriel Iglesias, set to voice Speedy Gonzales in Space Jam sequel, defends role


Let’s hope he’s squeaky clean! New voice of Speedy Gonzales for Space Jam boasts cancel culture will NEVER catch him after NYTimes report slammed old Looney Tunes cartoons for racial stereotypes

  • The comedian took to Twitter on Saturday to call out ‘cancel culture’
  • Speedy Gonzales was mentioned by name in a New York Times opinion column that took aim at several cartoons and children’s stories for racial stereotypes
  • Pepe Le Pew was previously removed from Space Jam: A New Legacy
  • Iglesias’ comments came as the conversation around ‘cancel culture’ builds 

Comedian Gabriel Iglesias is defending his turn as Speedy Gonzales while taking aim at ‘cancel culture.’

Iglesias is providing the voice for Speedy Gonzales, a well-known Looney Tunes character, in the upcoming movie Space Jam: A New Legacy.

The Looney Tunes have drawn the ire of some in recent days, however, after Charles Blow wrote an opinion column examining stereotypes in cartoon characters for the New York Times.

The latest discussion around ‘cancel culture’ was sparked up by the decision of Dr. Seuss Enterprises to stop publishing six books that featured racial stereotypes. 

Gabriel Iglesias, who is voicing Speedy Gonzales in the new Space Jam, is defending the character against ‘cancel culture’ cries that have named several Looney Tunes

In the column, Blow made specific mention of Speedy Gonzales, saying the character’s ‘friends helped popularize the corrosive stereotype of the drunk and lethargic Mexicans.’

Blow also claimed Pepé Le Pew as a character that ‘normalized rape culture.’ Le Pew was an amorous skunk that didn’t take no for an answer from a female skunk who would always try to get away.

On Saturday, Iglesias, an American of Mexican heritage, jumped on Twitter, seemingly in response to the opinion column to call out critics.

‘I am the voice of Speedy Gonzales in the new Space Jam,’ Iglesias posted on Twitter. ‘Does this mean they are gonna try to cancel Fluffy too? U [sic] can’t catch me cancel culture. I’m the fastest mouse in all of Mexico.’

Accompanying the tweet is a GIF of Speedy Gonzales. ‘Fluffy’ is Iglesias’ nickname. The tweet has generated over 25,000 likes in three days.

Speedy Gonzales is known to wear a yellow sombrero, speak with an exaggerated Mexican accent, and occasionally speak Spanish in addition to English.

The character was voiced by Mel Blanc, a Russian Jewish immigrant, for several decades.

Other notable actors who have voiced the cartoon include Billy West and Fred Armisen. 

Charles Blow of the New York Times wrote that Speedy Gonzales' 'friends helped popularize the corrosive stereotype of the drunk and lethargic Mexicans'

Charles Blow of the New York Times wrote that Speedy Gonzales’ ‘friends helped popularize the corrosive stereotype of the drunk and lethargic Mexicans’

Space Jam: A New Legacy, a sequel to the 1996 original starring Michael Jordan and featuring the Looney Tunes in a live-action/animation hybrid, is set to be released on July 16.

There is precedent for controversy regarding the character’s depiction, as Cartoon Network kept films featuring the character off air for years after acquiring the rights to broadcast them in 1999.

Deadline reports that Pepé Le Pew was previously cut from the film and was never animated into any scenes.

The character was initially set to appear in a scene, however, where Pepé Le Pew plays a bartender who hits on a woman and even kisses her arm before the character slammed into a chair and receives a lesson about consent from LeBron James.

The actress in the scene, Greice Santo, was disappointed by the scene’s exclusion, as she wanted to show women standing up to sexual harassment and the skunk facing consequences.

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