- The Washington Times
Tuesday, March 9, 2021

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Cancel culture has come for Speedy Gonzales before – and the fastest mouse of Mexico survived – due in part because of the outpouring of support from the Mexican and Spanish communities. 

Now it looks like the woke crowd is coming for the Looney Tunes character once again, with New York Times columnist Charles Blow writing the cartoon “helped popularize the corrosive stereotype of the drunk and lethargic Mexicans,” in a column over the weekend.


In the same article, Mr. Blow took on the stinky skunk Pepe Le Pew for “normalizing rape culture,” and as a result, Warner Bros, which will be releasing Space Jam 2 in the coming months, said Mr. Le Pew wouldn’t be featured in the sequel.

The French were nowhere to be found defending Pepe Le Pew, however Latinos went into an uproar over the possibility Speedy Gonzales being canceled.

“I am the voice of Speedy Gonzales in the new Space Jam,” comedian Gabriel Iglesias, whose family hails from Mexico, goes by the name Fluffy, and is voicing the mouse in the new film tweeted. “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.”

Mr. Iglesias tweet has generated more than 25,000 likes and counting.

“As a Mexican… I freaking love Speedy Gonzalez as much as my family love the Fastest mouse in all of Mexico,” tweeted Marisol Jaimes, responding to Mr. Iglesias’s tweet, adding that “the toxic sjw gringos who tried to cancel Speedy Gonzalez” could do something unprintable to themselves.

“Neither me nor anyone amongst my family and friends in Mexico felt offended by Speedy Gonzales,” tweeted the account named Hispanic Citizen. “He was intelligent, witty, the fastest of them all and would always outsmart his rivals. The sombreros? Many Mexicans wear them with pride every World Cup. I love Speedy.”

It’s not the first time the mouse has been targeted — and has survived due to the cascade of love shown on him from the Latino community.

In 1999, Speedy Gonzales was banned from the Cartoon Network after it decided the cartoon was too offensive and reinforced negative Mexican stereotypes like speaking in a heavy accent and wearing a sombrero. The network reinstated him three years later after fan outrage. 

The League of United Latin American Citizens, a Latino anti-discrimination organization, helped get Speedy back on the air after Cartoon Network shelved him.

“In Mexico we grew up watching Speedy Gonzales,” Eugenio Derbez, told Deadline at the time. “He was like a superhero to us, or maybe more like a revolucionario like Simón Bolívar or Pancho Villa.”

In pondering his newest cancellation threat, Yolanda Machado, a writer at Remezcla, a Latin American media company serving the millennial market wrote although “Speedy Gonzales was created in racism and stereotypes, Latinos have dealt with ‘representation’ everywhere and have attached ourselves with the small pieces of us that we connected with. In turn, we created a Speedy Gonzales into our own hero, outsmarting the white folks, for over 50 years and counting.”

And doesn’t that make sense? 

Speedy Gonzales was always the underdog hero, zooming around helping hungry Mexican mice get to cheese guarded by Sylvester, the gringo cat. Sylvester is constantly outsmarted and humiliated by the clever, funny, little mouse.

“As a Latino, I can state that we are not offended by Speedy Gonzales,” EJ Miller tweeted in response to the new controversy. “He is a cultural icon and must be protected at all costs. The machismo. The drip. Protect him!”

Indeed, because of the flood of support — from the community Speedy Gonzales is most meant to offend — the fastest mouse in Mexico just may outrun cancel culture once again.


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