My take on this is that there are certain factions in old Hollywood who never forgave Walt for standing up to the union bosses that wanted to unionize his workers and the fact that he went to Washington to give Congress his opinion during the McCarthy era. It wouldn't surprise me to find that these rumors started around the time a good chunk of his workers went out on strike. He certainly wasn't perfect, but the racisim/anti-semetic thing has often been repeated without any merit whatsoever and has never been proven.
But isn't it ironic that Meryl is giving an award to an actress who starred in a movie in which some of Walt's closest collaborators are JEWISH? Richard Sherman actually addressed the rumors at one point, and said they were completely groundless. I mean...come on Meryl. Just do the math.
And Chaplin had a thing for teenagers, so there you go.
Henry Ford was racist and a Hitler supporter, as was Charles Lindbergh. Why do we still look upon them in a positive few? The same thing applies to Charlie Chaplin, yes he was terrible with relationships. But you can't hate the products he gave us.
Just as with Disney, you may hate him but the world would be very different without what he and his company gave us.
"THAT'S RIGHT CARNEGIE STEEL BUILT THIS PLACE"!!!!!
Things like this make me blow my top. It amazes me how much bile gets spewed about Walt. I try to keep in mind that a lot of it is just people's fascination with stories that go counter to a celebrity's public persona. Mister Rogers, for example, was plagued with so called "true" stories that offscreen he was a top Marine Corps sniper with 42 confirmed kills. (I kid you not).
Onscreen, Walt was a nice guy. Therefore offscreen, he had to be a not-so-nice guy.
Ms. Streep called him a "gender bigot" for his early policy (IN THE 1930s) of solely hiring men for the Animation department. Well, at the same time he only hired women for the Ink & Paint department! He thought they were far more thorough, meticulous and consistent in their work. Yes, that's not a particularly enlightened standpoint from today's perspective, but the fact is he was one of the biggest employers of women in Hollywood. If he were truly misogynist, he'd have avoided them altogether--or consigned them to the typing pool, like other studios.
We're talking about the 1930s here. How many female directors did Warner Brothers and MGM hire? How many female cinematographers? Set designers?
As to his being anti-Semitic. The closest anyone has gotten to making that label stick was his membership in the MPAPAI, or Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals. The MPAPAI was an anti-communist, anti-fascist organization that certainly attracted a few anti-Semites as well. But if you're going to accuse Walt of anti-semitism by association, you'll also have to accuse Gary Cooper, Clark Gable, Cecil B. DeMille, John Wayne and Ronald Reagan. They were all members as well.
I shrug. People just want to feel like they have inside info: stuff that reveals he wasn't as he seemed. I say we start the rumor that his moustache was a glued-on fake; they'll have fun with that.
I've always figured the man had flaws and was a reflection of his era. He was, after all, human. He seems to have had a few fairly "modern" ideals, a few more conservative ones, and generally in interview and biography comes off as driven, occasionally prone to foul moods from stress, and fairly insistent that he get things his way.
There's a weird requirement we as a society seem stuck in in recent years that past figures somehow have to live up to modern standards, to operate in modern ways that I just don't get. Expecting him to have run Disney Corporation by 2014 standards just doesn't scan - by all accounts it was a fairly tightly run organization well within the corporate norms of it's period. Expecting him to have lived his life according to modern standards is even sillier.
Credibility is to be sought for. Credulity is not. Sadly the latter is our normal human state.
If you think that Walt Disney was evil and/or misogynistic and/or racist, do us all a favor. Take you Disney tapes & your Disney DVD's and burn them. Never turn on the DIsney Channel and never ever step foot in "The Happiest Place on Earth" again. Walt Disney left a legacy of joy, love, and compassion to everyone. He gave people of every persuasion the chance to flourish. He also mortgaged himself to his eyeballs more than once to make the wonderful entertainment that we enjoy today.
(With credit, thanks, and apologies to Bill Hicks)
As to this 1938 letter. Let's suppose that Walt did not want to tell this young lady that she was not qualified artistically to take on the job that she aspired. It is kinder to give another reason than to say, "Sorry, but you're a hack and have no talent."
In these "enlightened" times, it is easy to judge those of the past for their barbaric behavior. However, let's turn the lens. How do you think the people of 1938 would judge the morals, behavior, attire, language, and civility of today?
Lastly, Ms. Streep is an uneducated twit who preaches to the choir without fear of scrutiny.
Walt Disney contributed greatly to the entire world & his art is still enjoyed today. I expect it to still be admired eighty years from now. Ms. Streep will be as well known in eighty years as Pola Negri is today.
Last edited by gomezaddams; 01-10-2014 at 09:19 PM.
Skiddley Whiffers is a cruel mistress; cold and unforgiving.
The Walt Disney Museum has done a very good job at debunking a lot of what she said but what she and a lot other people fail to remember that just because Walt was a good man and a even greater human being does mean he wasn't a child of his time period. He grew up in a time when anti semitic materials where sold in fords automobiles. He used the n-word from time to time which of course is unacceptable but that doesn't mean he was racist just ignorant just as lots of people of that time. We want judge people based on the standards of 2014 not the early 1900s. That doesn't take away from all the great things walt did for the world.
Besides everybody is allowed to have there own feelings but just when they use time for honoring some one else to spout hate about someone is not ok.
All the adversity I've had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me... You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you
Yawn... not sure how someone can "deffiantly" hate "us Jews", but:
* He donated to Jewish charities (The Hebrew Orphan Asylum, Yeshiva College, Jewish Home for the Aged, and The American League for a Free Palestine)
* Employed Jewish people ("Kay Kamen, the man who helped make Mickey Mouse into a cult once remarked that Disney had more Jews in it than the Book of Leviticus...")
* Not only that, but some of his top employees were Jewish (the Sherman Brothers, for example) * When Harry Tytle joined the studio as a production manager and told Walt that he was half-Jewish, Disney replied: “It would be better if you were all Jewish".
* Was named "1955 Man of the Year" by the B'nai B'rith chapter in Beverly Hills.
* He mocked Nazis to no end in his cartoons ("Education and Death", "Reason and Emotion", "Der Fuhrer's Face" etc.), and even had Donald Duck thank God for being born an American Citizen in one of them after having a nightmare about Hitler.
* He built a COMPLETE attraction devoted to peace, love and understanding between children of all corners of the world. Yeah, very hateful & anti-semitic.
Let's not forget - he never rejected or segregated people on DL based on their race. He did enforce sort of a dress code, but that's quite a bit different to "you look Jewish, you can't come in to my park".
I'm pretty sure he disliked several Jewish people, just as he disliked several black, white, mexican, chinese, japanese, spanish, etc. people. From what I've read about him, he could certainly carry a grudge "to infinity, and beyond". And I'm sure he associated himself with people who were anti-something at several points in his life. He wasn't a saint. But he never showed signs of hating anyone in particular.
To say Walt Disney "deffiantly" hated "us Jews" is similar to saying he's "deffiantly" being kept up frozen to revive him later. Absolutely baseless and irresponsible.
Please stop spreading misinformation. Your posts end up on the web as fact, and people keep on believing this crap thanks to it. It's unfair to Walt's legacy.
I very much agree with this. Given time and the chance to evolve, it is logical to expect that Walt or Henry Ford could have or would have changed with the times.
FWIW, I'm not so sure about Henry Ford. While there's zero proof about Disney's anti-semitism, Ford really did have a thing against Jews and for Nazi Germany. "The International Jew - The World's Foremost Problem", his "lovely" book is proof enough... also, he somewhat supported Germany's war effort by building machinery for them and employing slave labor.
No comparison between Disney and Ford... they were quite different persons in that respect.
Well - there is scientific evidence to prove that Disney was evil. I mean the evil gene occurs at approximately rate of one in every two million. As the esteemed Dr. Hibbert put it, "Well, only one in two million people has what we call the "evil gene". Hitler had it, Walt Disney had it" Source: Dr. Hibbert Quotes - TV Fanatic