Texas Congressman Joaquin Castro Wants Investigation Into Warner Bros. Discovery For Sudden Cancelation Of ‘Coyote Vs. Acme’

Cactus Coyote
The injured Coyote and Roadrunner in Looney Tunes Season 1 Episode 8 "Cactus If You Can" (2020), Warner Bros. Animation

Batgirl was the summit of the company’s culling, but it was not the end of Warner Bros. Discovery‘s drastic measures. The entertainment conglomerate is still very much in the habit of saving money by canceling movies that are either finished or almost there.

Outro logo for Looney Tunes Episode 1, Season 1, Warner Bros. Animation
Porky and Daffy show up to put out a fire in Looney Tunes Season 1 Episode 2 “Firehouse Frenzy” (2020), Warner Bros. Animation

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That is what they did with the Looney Tunes-inspired feature Coyote Vs. Acme, and as was the case with Batgirl, their actions got the attention of Congress. One Representative in particular is taking up the film’s cause in the name of enforcing/expanding antitrust laws.

Texas Democrat Joaquin Castro chastised WBD for its initial decision to lock the finished movie away from public exhibition so they could enjoy the benefits of a tax write-off.

Rep. Joaquin Castro On The FBI Investigation Of Trump: ‘Donald Trump Has Never Paid A Price.’ via MSNBC, YouTube

“The WBD tactic of scrapping fully made films for tax breaks is predatory and anti-competitive,” he wrote on X. “As the Justice Department and @FTC revise their antitrust guidelines they should review this conduct.”

His post concluded. “As someone remarked, it’s like burning down a building for the insurance money.”

Joaquin Castro on X

Castro had similar criticisms for the decision to shelve Batgirl which starred a Latina, Leslie Grace, in the lead. In an April letter to the Justice Department, he and 30 other Congresspeople expressed disapproval of WBD for an “anticompetitive” limiting of choices and diversity in the market.

“The damage to content creators whose projects are cancelled in deep development and post-production cannot be overstated,” the letter said.

Grumpy Batgirl in Batman: The Animated Series Season 1, Episode 62, "Shadow of the Bat Part II" (1994)
Grumpy Batgirl in Batman: The Animated Series Season 1, Episode 62, “Shadow of the Bat Part II” (1994), Warner Bros. Animation

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“Such cancellations stain these projects, making them less appealing and marketable to other buyers – consumers will likely never be able to watch shows purchased then cancelled by WBD. WBD’s conduct amounts to a de facto ‘catch and kill’ practice, vastly limiting consumer choice,” Castro added.

WBD originally decided to shelve Coyote Vs. Acme, but reversed just as quickly thanks to pressure. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film scored in the ’90s after test screenings. Its producers — who include DC Studios President James Gunn — are being allowed to shop it around to other outlets.

Outro logo for Looney Tunes Episode 1, Season 1, Warner Bros. Animation
Outro logo for Looney Tunes Season 1, Episode 1. Warner Bros. Animation

Starring John Cena as Wile E. Coyote and Will Forte as his lawyer, the clumsy yet rascally canid takes a break from chasing the Roadrunner to take Acme to court for all the aggravating years he spent using their defective products.

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