Space Jam: A New Legacy is set to hit our screens this week and fans are ready and waiting to see their favourite Looney Tunes characters again, along with basketball legend, LeBron James.
However, the film has already been the subject of controversy after internet users expressed their distaste over the new design of classic character Lola Bunny.
Lola Bunny appeared in the 1996 Space Jam film, but her look has evolved for the sequel, with director Malcolm D. Lee deeming it important “to reflect the authenticity of strong, capable female characters.”
A look at Lola Bunny in Space Jam vs A New Legacy
Back in March, Malcolm D. Lee, the director of the upcoming Space Jam sequel, Space Jam: A New Legacy, shared his opinions over the well-loved character of Lola Bunny, and her design in the original movie.
Lee wondered why the character was over-sexualised, and told EW:
“Lola was not politically correct… 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.”
In the new movie, Lee and his team “reworked” a few things such as her look and her style to make the character appear feminine without being objectified. They also gave Lola a real voice and made sure to focus on her “athletic prowess, her leadership skills, and make her as full a character as the others.”
Zendaya reacts to the Lola Bunny controversy
Zendaya, who is the voice behind Lola Bunny in Space Jam: A New Legacy, has spoken out about the controversy, stating that she didn’t expect the new character design to receive such backlash. The actress said:
“I definitely know we love her, but I didn’t know it was going to be as much of a focus as it was. But I understand, because she’s a lovable character. She’s very important, so I get it.”
She added: “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.”
The Spiderman star finished by stating that she was “grateful for the opportunity” to play Lola Bunny.