The New “Space Jam” Has “Desexualized” Lola Bunny, And People Are Mad About It

It's 2021, and people are upset about a cartoon rabbit's boobs

Lola Bunny in Space Jam
The original Lola Bunny in "Space Jam" from 1996.
Warner Brothers

On Thursday, Entertainment Weekly unveiled the first look at LeBron James’s Space Jam: A New Legacy, and Lola Bunny — love interest of Bugs Bunny and sole female member of the Tune Squad (unless you count cheerleader Granny) — looks a little different.

Director Malcolm D. Lee told the publication that he was caught off guard by the original Space Jam‘s “very sexualized” depiction of the character. “This is 2021,” he said. “It’s important to reflect the authenticity of strong, capable female characters.” The reworked Lola Bunny is less voluptuous and has swapped the crop top and booty shorts for more practical compression shorts and a baggier uniform.

Naturally, people are mad about this, with some arguing that a less-hot cartoon rabbit is somehow a reflection of “PC culture” run amok. As one Twitter user wrote, “I hate this new age censorship. Original Lola is so damn fine.”

But as others pointed out, the problem with the original Lola wasn’t that she had boobs. It was the way other characters treated her because of those boobs. The idea that the shape of someone’s body — even if that someone is a fictional, anthropomorphic rabbit — would dictate whether or not they are worthy of being taken seriously or inherently viewed as a sex object is antiquated. Lee sounds like his heart is in the right place, but we’ve got a problem when a female character has to be flat-chested and covered up in order to read as “strong” and “capable.” Maybe we should worry less about how Lola looks, and instead of focusing on “desexualizing” her, maybe have Bugs be less of a leering creep?

Anyway, if you’re interested in the new, less-overtly-horny Space Jam, it will be out July 16 in theaters and on HBO Max.

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