Debates began to rage on social media on Saturday in the aftermath of an opinion piece for the New York Times. Charles M. Blow wrote a column and said, among other things, that Looney Tunes character Pepe Le Pew "normalized rape culture." Professional wrestler The Iron Sheik saw the debates and weighed in his own unique way.
The Iron Sheik tweeted a photo on Saturday that showed him during a wrestling match against Hulk Hogan. He held his fellow wrestler in the Camel Clutch. However, Pepe's head had been placed on top of Hogan's, changing the tone of the photo. The Iron Sheik then delivered a strong message to drive his point home.
"PEPE LE PEW YOU DUMB SON OF A B— I F—ING BREAK YOUR F—ING FRENCH NECK YOU NO GOOD PIECE OF S— SKINNY STINKING B—rd F— YOU FOREVER YOU ARE THE JABRONI OF THE EARTH," the Iron Sheik tweeted. This message then created even more conversations on social media.
"This is the only rational response I've seen to this debate today," one person tweeted on Saturday. Several others weighed in and applauded the professional wrestler for using his signature move on the cartoon character. Others told the Iron Sheik to go after Foghorn Leghorn next.
While the debates raged on social media, Blow responded with extra comments about his articles and the responses. He provided a series of points explaining why he feels that Pepe is problematic. Many people continued to weigh in and voice differing opinions about whether the cartoon character is a sinister figure.
"1. He grabs/kisses a girl/stranger, repeatedly, [without] consent and against her will," Blow tweeted. "2. She struggles mightily to get away from him, but he won't release her. 3. HE locks a door to prevent her from escaping. This helped teach boys that 'no' didn't really mean no, that it was a part of 'the game,' the starting line of a power struggle. It taught overcoming a woman's strenuous, even physical objections, was normal, adorable, funny. They didn't even give the woman the ability to SPEAK."
Many people on social media agreed with Blow and made comments about how they also had several issues. Others, however, disagreed. There were some people on social media that said they found nothing problematic about Pepe when viewed through the eyes of a child and that the cartoon didn't teach them anything terrible. These Twitter users said that people are just searching for things to complain about.