The trending topics of Twitter can serve many purposes, not all of them automatically about making you immediately worry that your favorite celebrity has killed someone, been killed, or simply become the latest Secret Monster You’re Just Now Learning About. No, sometimes the trending topics serve merely as a pool skimmer on the greasy subconscious of the online mind, as they did today, when popular animated sports star/leporine lust object Lola Bunny began trending on the social media service. Then Jessica Rabbit, who is not a rabbit, but who is a cartoon, also began trending, because of all the things people were saying about her in the midst of the Lola Bunny discourse. Then we looked away, before the Disney’s Robin Hood people or the Betty Boop fetishists could somehow get in on the act.
This is all, of course, Space Jam’s fault, and specifically new images and details released in relation to LeBron James’ Space Jam: A New Legacy earlier today. Among other things—Many things! Interesting things! Don Cheadle things!—Warner Bros. revealed the new design for Lola, which, by deliberately desexualizing a character in a movie very clearly designed for children, immediately provoked the hornt-up ire of a whole bunch of former children for whom the original Space Jam was obviously a formative experience.
And, really: God bless the Twitter operative whose job it is to come up with explanations for why a topic is trending online, who summed up this current fervor with a straight-faced “People share their feelings about Lola Bunny.” That’s a very non-judgmental cap to put on 60,000 tweets of people being horny on main, chastising people for being horny on main, or inventing a Who Framed Roger Rabbit? 2 out of whole cloth in their fears that the Onanism Police will come for another ink-based goddess of their sweaty-palmed youths.
Kudos, at least, to the Space Jam: A New Legacy designers, who clearly decided to steer the insolvable problem left to them by their predecessors in a “We would like it if people didn’t immediately masturbate to this” direction. (It won’t help, of course, but the intent is noble.) Director Malcolm D. Lee noted to Entertainment Weekly that he was “caught off guard” by the character’s original treatment, and decided to emphasize her basketball talents, rather than reinforcing society’s endless drumbeat that says you’re only worthwhile as a woman if Bugs Bunny finds you sexually desirable. (We’re paraphrasing that last part.) Oh, and kudos also, while we’re at it, to the designers from the 2011 Looney Tunes Show, who not only de-porned Lola’s design, but also hired Kristen Wiig to voice her, transforming the character into a viable comedy force in her own right, and not, you know, whatever the animators from the original Space Jam intended her to be.