SPACE JAM: A NEW LEGACY Actor Gabriel Iglesias Defends SPEEDY GONZALES Amid Criticism Of Racist Stereotyping
Gabriel Iglesias, who voices Speedy Gonzales in Space Jam: A New Legacy, took to social media to defend the Looney Tunes cartoon character after Speedy was criticized for perpetuating racist stereotypes.
In the recent New York Times op-ed, columnist Charles M. Blow argued Pepe Le Pew "normalized rape culture." But the French skunk wasn't the only Looney Tunes character to receive criticism. In the same article, Blow asserted that Speedy Gonzales helped perpetuate racist stereotypes.
In the article, Blow argued that Speedy's friends “helped popularize the corrosive stereotype of the drunk and lethargic Mexicans.”
While Pepe Le Pew's scene from Space Jam: A New Legacy was cut (for reasons not related to the recent controversy), it appears as though Speedy Gonzales will appear in the film. And comedian Gabriel Iglesias, who voices the character in the film, has come out in defense of the mouse.
"I am the voice of Speedy Gonzales in the new Space Jam. Does this mean they are gonna try to cancel Fluffy too? U can’t catch me cancel culture. I’m the fastest mouse in all of Mexico," Iglesias wrote. Iglesias, who goes by the name nickname Fluffy, is of Mexican heritage so it's interesting to see him come out in support of Speedy.
I am the voice of Speedy Gonzales in the new Space Jam. Does this mean they are gonna try to cancel Fluffy too? U can’t catch me cancel culture. I’m the fastest mouse in all of Mexico 💨 pic.twitter.com/Ov4wjO00kM— G a b r i e l - I g l e s i a s (@fluffyguy) March 7, 2021
But unlike Pepe, the offensiveness of Speedy Gonazales is up for debate. The creation of Speedy Gonzales is undoubtedly rooted in racism, with the character meant to represent an American stereotype of what is considered to be a "typical" Mexican. However, a large number of Hispanics have embraced the character and view him as a hero.
Rather than focus on the negative stereotypes, a large number of Hispanics celebrate his quick wit and endearing personality. He's fast and nimble, the “fastest mouse in all Mexico."
It's unclear what Warner Bros. plans for Speedy Gonzales are for the future but the company has made an effort to modernize some of their more politically correct Looney Tunes characters.