Thursday, December 26, 2013

Bugs Bunny's closest confidant said he really liked cross-dressing; subversive Warner Bros. character
has been delighting transgender kids for 3 generations

Also in AKSARBENT: Who's your daddy, War on Christmas?;
NE gov. candidate wants to free Phil Robertson of consequences from slandering millions of LGBTs

Yesterday AKSARBENT was reading Julie Tarney's account in the Huffington Post about how, on a 1997 visit to the Hallmark Store in the gift shop at Chicago's Palmer House Hotel, her seven-year-old-son Harry, when told he could pick out a Christmas tree ornament for himself, immediately chose, out of stacks of boxes, one containing an ornament depicting Bugs Bunny as Carmen Miranda.
I realized that Bugs and the other occasional Warner Brothers cartoon cross-dressers were the only children's TV characters that validated my young son's desire to dress in girls' clothes.
     Ha! Evidently, the House UnAmerican Activities Committee was clueless about the real threat to America that the four Brothers Warner were posing when it singled out their studio for its allegedly subversive, socially-conscious pictures of the thirties (which presumably did not include Golddiggers of 1933, 1935, or 1937, Golddiggers in Paris, Fashions of 1934, Wonder Bar, The Singing Marine, Dames, Hollywood Hotel, Men Are Such Fools, Varsity Show or any of Busby Berkeley's other films).
     AKSARBENT hopes Bugs' transgender validation doesn't show up on the radar of the Million Moms subsidiary of the American Family Association or its Doberman-in-Chief, Bryan Fischer, and cause them to paint a target on Mr. Bunny.
     Oh wait... Please, please DO go after Bugs Bunny, AFA!
     But we digress. Our reading caused us to wonder what, if anything, legendary animator Chuck Jones had to say about Bugs' frequent excursions into cross-dressing.
     Jones, who drew many of Bugs Bunny's funniest cartoons, joined Leon Schlesinger Productions, the independent studio that produced Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies for Warner Bros., in 1933 as an assistant animator. He said he "learned how to be funny" in 1942 with the cartoon The Dover Boys, one of the first uses of stylized animation in American film, after he broke away from the more realistic Disney animation.
     And it turns out that he did have something to say about Bugs In Drag.
     From a 1996 interview of Jones, who died in 2002, by Mark Thompson and Brian Phelps (M&B) of KLOS, Los Angeles in Chuck Jones Conversations by Maureen Furniss, University Press of Mississippi, 2005:
M&B: ...I always wondered whose idea was it to put Bugs in drag the very first time? And did you have any negative connotations from whatever organization?
Chuck Jones: Well, at that time, which was before you guys were even born — it may be difficult for you to imagine a time when you weren't born. And I'm sure the public would agree that it's far better that you're here. But —
M&B: Depending on the day, Chuck.
Chuck Jones: The thing was at that time, if a man dressed up like a woman, there was no transvestite. Nobody even knew the term.
M&B: It was just funny.
Chuck Jones: It was just funny. The man would put on a woman's hat, and they would think that was funny. They wouldn't think that the man was turning into something "inappropriate."
M&B: Little did they know he really liked it.
Chuck Jones: Yeah, he did. We found that out as we went along.

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