Who Asked For Sexy Powerpuff Girls? It's Time To Stop Sexualizing Our Childhood Cartoons

Photo: The CW/James Acomb
Who Asked For Sexy Powerpuff Girls? Let's Stop Sexualizing Our Childhood Cartoons, Please

So the live-action "Powerpuff" script was leaked, and we need to talk about it.

Growing up, I was a huge fan of the cartoons on Cartoon Network. I watched some of these shows every single day. 

Powerpuff Girls, Johnny Bravo, Dexter’s Laboratory, Codename: Kids Next Door, The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy —  I could keep going, but I think I’ve made my point that these shows are some of the most legendary cartoons you could have grown up with, aside from the Nickelodeon cartoons.

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Someone, for some reason I wish I understood, had the brilliant idea to bring back the Powerpuff Girls for a live-action remake. 

Why CW remake of the Powerpuff Girls feels like it's ruining our nostalgic memories?

The Powerpuff Girls were great. Three girls fighting crime and protecting their city with their clumsy —  but incredible —  single father who created them in a lab. The show dealt with children’s issues as well as sibling rivalries and just getting along with people that are different from you. 

Craig McCracken did an incredible job making the show, and it was a huge success like the other cartoons that were coming out during that golden age of children’s television.

What's the Powerpuff Girls remake about and how is it sexual? 

I’m looking at you, CW. Just leave the show in the nostalgia vault so we can always look back to it with fond memories of a great part of our childhoods.

Some people may be wondering, “Hey live-actions aren’t all bad!” or, “Maybe it’ll be good?”

This could have actually been the case. With a good team and a good cast, a live-action Powerpuff Girls could have been a fun little revival of a childhood classic filled with nostalgic callbacks and new, original, baddies to fight and drama to solve.

CW said they don’t want that. Instead, we have “fancy sluts.”

That is a direct quote from the leaked script of the pilot episode in a scene where Bubbles admits to her father —  Drake Utonium — that she wants to be like Baby from Dirty Dancing, a “fancy slut.”

First of all, his name is Professor, not Drake. And if you think that’s the worst of it, I’ve only just begun to unpack the diabolical writing behind The Powerpuff Girls reboot.

It’s like really bad fanfiction. No really, like the worst fanfiction you’ve ever read. There’s no actual story here. There’s no active villainy, no crime fighting, no saving the citizens of Townsville. Our adorable little girls get their characters butchered as adult-oriented objectification for 61 pages of script.

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In the new show, they’re supposedly 25 years old and done with being Powerpuff Girls. Now, they are horny, recovering from drug addiction, using dated references and pop culture references, and breaking the fourth wall to tell us that the original cartoon "whitewashed" them and was selling out their lives. 

Buttercup's character filled with bisexual stereotypes.

Hear me out for a second here; I am all for representation. The actress for Buttercup is black, and that’s great. There’s a diverse cast of people and the writers of the script are women and not creepy old men with a Powerpuff Girls fetish (like you would have thought), but I think there’s a problem when they made the obvious tomboy of the group a bisexual woman, and also use some of the most harmful stereotypes to depict her character.

In the script, Buttercup seems to always be thinking about or talking about or referencing sex. There’s a scene where she’s at a bar with her sisters and says, “I’m here to pick up bi-curious townies.” The morning after, Blossom actually walks in on Buttercup sleeping with a woman named Macy, who she casually brushes off and tells to leave.

Her quote at the bar is predatory, and the idea that bisexual women are always having sex outside of their relationships or simply exist as sexual beings is very harmful.

This isn’t the only instance of sexualization on our Powerpuff Girls either. The girls are constantly making sex jokes and references, even threatening to leak each other’s nudes.

What is Buttercup and Blossom's characters like in the Powerpuff Girls Remake? 

Buttercup jokes about Bubbles having a sex tape, she also jokes about Blossom having “boring phone sex with her pasty boyfriend,” all in front of their dad, by the way.

Bubbles makes a joke that their dad is probably "generous" in bed and makes out with a bartender just to see what’s behind a door that says "Do Not Enter."

Blossom seems to be the only one who has it together. Oh just kidding, they ruined her too by forcing anxiety and mental health issues that seem very shallow. There’s a scene where Buttercup and Bubbles are talking about their sister, and Buttercup jokes about how coming back home is probably “triggering” for her, and Bubbles says she should “moveon.org.”

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She also starts to have a panic attack after talking about a resurgence of “darkness” within her family, and faints. This sort of mental-illness-as-comic-relief slapstick is another very harmful thing about this script.

The adultifying and sexualization of childhood memories is not an uncommon thing, oddly enough, but it’s never a good idea.

Not only is it weird to sexualize a band of little girls like the Powerpuff Girls, it simply isn’t necessary. Then to go above and beyond and talk down about the original cartoon in the awful spinoff script has to be one of the most absurd paradoxes of all time. 

It has to be a joke right?

Diablo Cody —  writer of Juno —  and Heather Regnier, need to do a rewrite of the script. Funnily enough, along with the leaked script, CW pulled back the pilot, deeming it a “miss” with the reasoning that it was “too campy.”

The Powerpuff girls scripts has been called "campy". 

Really quickly, the definition for campy says this: “in the style of camp: absurdly exaggerated, artificial, or affected in a usually humorous way.”

I don’t see the humor, but when Cody and Regnier find it, someone let me know.

Hopefully they knew all along that sexualizing the Powerpuff Girls was a bad idea, and we’ll get a better product than the show that was slated for a Fall 2021 release.

The original cast and crew are all staying, just hopefully the script isn’t.

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Isaac Serna-Diez is a writer who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice and relationships.