Why Cancelling Speedy Gonzales Landed Cartoon Network In Some Heat – SlashFilm


This was not the first attempt at canceling or banning Speedy. In 1999, the character was briefly banned from Cartoon Network for reinforcing negative Mexican stereotypes, but the network reinstated him after fan outrage a couple of years later — outrage that included the League of United Latin American Citizens asking the network to release Speedy from his carcel (Spanish for “jail”). This led to a joke in “Looney Tunes: Back in Action” where Speedy and Porky Pig lament not being politically correct characters. No matter how much anyone tries, the world can’t get rid of Speedy — he even almost got a solo movie a few years ago.

Still, despite the undeniable fan support, the problem with Speedy is that he is definitely a problematic character. The mouse was introduced in 1953’s “Cat-Tails for Two,” at a time when racial tensions surrounding Latinos, particularly people of Mexican descent, were particularly high in the U.S. In 1954, Operation Wetback was put into place by the government, which resulted in the deportation of over one million people of Mexican descent, including American citizens. It is hard not to see Speedy as part of this racist campaign against the idea of the “typical” Mexican — lazy, unable to speak proper English, and quick to evade authorities.

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