'Space Jam: A New Legacy' Star Zendaya Speaks out on Lola Bunny Controversy

Space Jam: A New Legacy is now out in theatres and HBO Max, and Zendaya voices Lola Bunny. There [...]

Space Jam: A New Legacy is now out in theatres and HBO Max, and Zendaya voices Lola Bunny. There has been a lot of controversy over Lola Bunny being redesigned to make her less sexualized, which is very surprising for Zendaya who recently said she didn't realize it would be a big deal.

"I definitely know we love her, but I didn't know it was going to be as much of a focus as it was," she said to Entertainment Weekly. "But I understand, because she's a lovable character. She's very important, so I get it." The 24-year-old actress also said explained why people didn't want Lola Bunny's look to change. "She's special to a lot of people and their childhoods and they've been able to grow up with her, so I get that sense of protection," Zendaya said.

In March, Space Jam: A New Legacy director Malcolm D. Lee explained to Entertainment Weekly why the move was made. "Lola [Bunny] was very sexualized," he said. "This is a kids' movie, why is she in a crop top? It just felt unnecessary, but at the same time, there's a long history of that in cartoons. I understand people don't want things to change, but I think we needed some evolution with her, not by objectifying her but by making her strong and still feminine."

It was announced in April that Zendaya would voice the role of Lola in the new Space Jam movie. In the original Space Jam film that was released in 1996, Kath Soucie voices the role, and Lola was first introduced to the Looney Tunes family in the movie. At the time Space Jam was released, Zendaya was only two months old.

"I grew up with it because I come from a basketball family, she explained. "My mom is 6-foot-4, she was a basketball player in college, and my father also played basketball and was a basketball coach and wanted me to be a basketball player. So I highly identify with LeBron's son in this film, because I too had this issue of, "Well, I don't want to do that. I kind of have a different idea of what I want to do." Zendaya stars with LeBron James, Don Cheadle, and Sonequa Martin-Green. Jeff Bergman and Eric Bauza also star in Space Jam: A New Legacy as they provide voices for the majority of Looney Tunes characters.