Warner Bros was once forced to put underpants on Daffy
Daffy's dance was just too much!
LOONEY TUNES and all related characters and elements are ™ of & © WBEI
The Motion Picture Association of America is the board responsible for letting audiences know what kinds of lascivious content they might view. The MPAA's film rating system ascribes a designation of "G," "PG," "PG-13," or "R" to most theatrically-released films. A similar rating system has been adopted for television as well. With mountains of streamable movies, there's no way parents can pre-screen everything before their children watch it. So, in that way, the MPAA provides a service to the viewing public. Wide-release movies have a rating so that you know what to expect. However, many artists and filmmakers are critical of the MPAA, accusing the corporation of arbitrary censorship.
The MPAA is a modernized replacement for an even more-outdated series of industry guidelines called the Hays Code. The Code was implemented to censor works produced between 1934 & 1968 and was named after Will H. Hays, president of the nascent Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America. In theory, the Hays Code was meant to determine what was—and what was not—acceptable for the viewing public. The uptight and upright are placated, while the self-righteous can sleep better at night knowing nothing morally ambiguous would be projected on the big screen. The Hays Code even dictated that the good guy had to win at the end. Among the supposed hysteria that the Hays Code preempted was the potential outcry from a public confronted with a naked Daffy Duck.
In 1943, Warner Bros. submitted "Wise Quackin' Duck" to be approved for distribution. This was the only way for WB to get their cartoons into theaters, where they'd play as part of a package before a single—or double-feature. The Leon Schlesinger-directed toon was typical madcap Looney Tunes fare, except for one "controversial" inclusion.
The Hays board deemed a scene of Daffy dancing too lewd for public consumption. In Daffy's defense, he had little choice in the matter. In a last-ditch effort to avoid being roasted alive, Daffy hits his assailant with a sultry dance, hoping to seduce and distract his axe-wielding predator.
Not only did the Hays office modify the dance, censoring the cartoon to ready it for viewing, but they also ordered Warner Bros. to animate underpants on Daffy Duck.
It's a good thing they did, too. Who knows what kind of morally-bankrupt society would've grown in the aftermath of seeing a naked Daffy Duck?!