Dear Cancellation Committee or Four Cartoon Characters Who Need To Be Terminated Immediately

Image by Markus Winkler from Pixabay

Dear Cancellation Committee,

Thank you for your efforts in cancelling that awful Dr Seuss. Yes, I know it was the copyright holders who simply decided to stop publishing only six books nobody had ever heard of before, and that until relatively recently the publishers were completely happy for such racism to see print, but your work is still much appreciated by a woke, politically correct, hater-snowflake like myself.

Further to this, I would like to submit the following cartoon characters for immediately cancellation.

Road Runner

We have been socialised to think of predators as inherently bad and prey as inherently good. As we all know, predators are simply surviving and that means eating those sweet looking animals lower on the food chain. Road Runner is the standard-bearer of the ‘innocent prey’ lie.

Most cartoon victims are at least occasionally endangered but Road Runner is never caught. He’s never touched. He just smugly “beep beeps” his way out of harm, mocking the circle of life itself. Wile E Coyote, on the other hand, suffers sadistically, even by toon standards. I wouldn’t go so far as to accuse the cartoonists of injecting their BDSM predilections into a cartoon but…wait, did they inject their BDSM predilections into a cartoon?

By the way, real roadrunners are opportunistic omnivores who eat fruits and seeds, insects, rodents, along with smaller birds. Yes, the beloved Road Runner is a cannibal!

Peter Pan

Peter Pan is introduced in J.M. Barrie’s piece called The Little White Bird. In it, a six year old boy has been allowed to sleep the night at the narrator’s house:
“I knew by intuition that he expected me to take off his boots. I took them off with all the coolness of an old hand, and then I placed him on my knee and removed his blouse. This was a delightful experience, but I think I remained wonderfully calm until I came somewhat too suddenly to his little braces, which agitated me profoundly.”

Peter Pan was birthed from this creepy fascination with youth, the embodiment of the child the man wants to be and/or be with. We are meant to see Pan as a carefree sprite who has avoided being ensnared by the demands of adulthood. But this brat sneaks into the Darling house, seduces the children into following him, and takes them back to his home where they are tortured. All that’s missing in this tale is a white windowless van.

If Pan is the child embodiment of Barrie’s obsession then Captain Hook is Barrie’s stand-in. Hook stalks Pan and it costs him a hand—a very Biblical punishment. I wouldn’t go so far as  to claim that’s a metaphor for Barrie’s guilt but…wait, is Dr Hook a metaphor for Barrie’s guilt?

Still not convinced that this is a story ripe for cancellation? The prosecution calls to the stand…Tinkerbell. Tinkerbell desires Peter and views Wendy as her romantic rival. But unlike Wendy, Tinkerbell is not a child. She’s an adult fairy with a va-va-voom body. So I refer again to my earlier statement “Tinkerbell desires Peter and views Wendy as her romantic rival”.

Tweety Bird

Like his Looney Tunes stablemate, Road Runner, Tweety’s world is based on the predator-bad/prey-good untruth. But at least Road Runner doesn’t speak. Tweety does not shut his beak, spewing out a ceaseless torrent of irritating baby-talk as he eludes the clutches of Sylvester the Cat who, like Wile E Coyote, is simply following his biological urges.

There’s pedophilic subtext in the fact that Tweety is a wide-eyed, lash-batting baby while Sylvester is a lisping, effete adult. I wouldn’t go so far as to accuse the cartoonists of injecting their gay-panic-stranger-danger-homophobia into a cartoon but…wait, is Sylvester the embodiment of gay-panic-stranger-danger-homophobia?


The TV show Stingray is Thunderbirds under the sea. It is named after the titular submarine, tasked with policing Earth’s oceans in the 2060s. Marina is a mute member of an undersea race, who works alongside Stingray’s dreamy captain, Troy Tempest. Many episodes profiled the love triangle between Troy, Marina, and Lieutenant Atlanta Shore, and if you think that’s the end of the ocean-themed names in the show you would be wrong, by a thousand names. Marina wafts around the sea, stumbling into trouble as frequently as sea-life are killed by those awful six-pack plastic rings, then signalling Stingray for an assist. So she’s Flipper, but in a dress.

Docile, youthful, silent Marina is the star of the show’s outro, Troy warbling about how wonderful but unattainable she is, while ultra-available but matronly Atlanta stares longingly at a picture of the man who will never be hers. Poor Lieutenant Shore, passed over for a dolphin in a mumu—that’s gotta sting, bae.

Oh, did I forget to make a case for why this should be cancelled? To be honest, I simply find Marina an insufferable bore. Also, technically it’s not a cartoon but if a mob is chucking pop culture into the bonfire then I’m heaving fish-woman into the flames while I have the chance. Make your move now, Ms Atlanta!

Again, Committee, thank you for your diligence in ridding the world of anything that offends us “wokesters”. A reminder that the world is still controlled by white, cis, heterosexual men who preside over deeply ingrained institutionalised racism, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia, and those of us who suffer because of that, along with our allies and anyone who wants to make this a better, kinder world, are just a wee bit bored which is why we sometimes ask questions which sometimes result in behaviour modification. We’re not trying to be pills, but come on!


DC Sheehan

PS. Shameless plug, but if you want to see a Peter Pan-like character get his just desserts then check out The Mythic and the City of Sweet Sorrow. I treat him with every ounce of respect he deserves…