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since 1997 | by maryann johanson

because the spirit of Looney Tunes hasn’t yet reached the ninth circle of hell

Speedy Gonzales: The Movie is in the planning stages. It’ll be a hybrid of live action and CGI. That’s bad, but it’s not all. Head for the hills, hide the children, and brace yourself: George Lopez, the unfunniest man in Hollywood, will be providing Senor Speedy’s voice, according to The Hollywood Reporter. But wait — it gets even worse:

the character has often courted criticism that the ethnic characterizations of him and his compatriots (especially lazy cousin Slowpoke Rodriguez) are stereotypically racist and severely outdated.

Aware of this, New Line and the producers plan to update the brand with a modernized sensibility (it takes place in present day) under what Ann Lopez calls George’s “Latino seal of approval.” (No need to throw fuel on the fire that serves as an immigration debate in this country.)

“We wanted to make sure that it was not the Speedy of the 1950s — the racist Speedy,” Ann Lopez said with a chuckle. “Speedy’s going to be a misunderstood boy who comes from a family that works in a very meticulous setting, and he’s a little too fast for what they do. He makes a mess of that. So he has to go out in the world to find what he’s good at.”

See? This Speedy Gonzales cartoon is gonna have heart. And you know that heart’ll be the real thing, because screenwriters Alec Sokolov and Joel Cohen also wrote Daddy Day Camp and Cheaper by the Dozen. Also:

The pair has “Walter the Farting Dog” in development at Fox, with the Jonas Brothers starring and the Farrelly Bros. directing.

*headdesk*

This has been your WTF Thought for the Day.



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  • Neil

    The pair has “Walter the Farting Dog” in development at Fox, with the Jonas Brothers starring and the Farrelly Bros. directing

    Please kill me.

  • oh. my.. GAWD! did anyone — a *anyone* of whatever age and background – honestly think that SG was a clear and obvious example of mexicans? really? he was fast! that was his whole thing… speedy, see?

    what’s next? pepe le peu done as a modern romancer on the internets? without the french accent? or the skunk thing?

  • and — sorry, i have to jump in here again — when did george lopez (perfectly described as the least funny comedian of any ethnicity) when did he become the arbiter of all things “latino”?

  • Victor Plenty

    His last name is Lopez. Q.E.D.

  • Ogami Itto

    The pair has “Walter the Farting Dog” in development at Fox, …

    I anxiously await “ASS: The Motion Picture”.

  • Hasimir Fenring

    george lopez (perfectly described as the least funny comedian of any ethnicity)

    Clearly someone unfamiliar with the ‘comedy’ of Dane Cook. I mean, Lopez leaves the crickets chirping, but Carlos Mencia makes coyotes howl in a vain attempt to drown out the ‘jokes’.

    What’s racist about the old Speedy? Isn’t he popular in Mexico? In 1950s whitebread America, he was 1)the hero who 2) was known for being hard-working and generous and who 3)helps the poor and downtrodden by 3)often outsmarting the villain (though sometimes he just outruns or outmuscles him). How many Latino characters like that do we have on mainstream American television now?

  • Pollas

    I saw that on IMDB and groaned. Sorry, but I liked the “racist” Speedy. If that makes me un-PC, then so be it.

  • I wonder which is more racist, having stereotypes, or thinking you’ve removed them by making the character whiter? So far the names on this program don’t inspire me to believe than can do anything else.

  • Der Bruno Stroszek

    Oh yeah, we might be all hating on Sokolov and Cohen now, but wait until Walter the Farting Dog comes out! Laugh all you want at Speedy Gonzales, but nobody’s ever laughed at a Farrelly brothers movie!

  • oh. my.. GAWD! did anyone — a *anyone* of whatever age and background – honestly think that SG was a clear and obvious example of mexicans? really? he was fast! that was his whole thing… speedy, see?

    I suspect this piece sums up the reasons why certain Latins are objecting to it.

  • Left_Wing_Fox

    What’s racist about the old Speedy? Isn’t he popular in Mexico? In 1950s whitebread America,

    Stop there and you have the answer. Speedy Gonzalez was a _relatively_ positive mexican character, but that’s in contrast not only to the other common stereotypes at the time (Like the “Frito Bandito”), and to the other characters in the cartoons he stars in.

    It’s still broad brush caricature and stereotypes done by a bunch of white guys playing off the popular culture at the time.

    Hell, “Coal Black and De Sebben Dwarves” _for it’s time_ had a features that were progressive. These days though, even an african-american army regiment being the heroes looks retrograde compared to the integrated military we’ve had for decades, and the blatant racism of the cartoon stands out even clearer.

  • Well, having remembered Speedy as a Mexican Robin Hood (which is how I thought of him as a kid) but not having seen his cartoons in a long time, I did a little surfing. It seems that most of the racism is not concerning Speedy but the other mice, who needed Speedy’s help because they just weren’t up to snuff.

    And I do think that it is ironic that Speedy is popular in Latin American but pulled from US TV.

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