Anonymous asked: Just wondering - why do you support disney? Walt has a long history of being a sexist, racist man. Why would you want to follow that?
I don’t know if you are aware much of History at this time period but everyone was, Walt Disney was pretty fair compared to most.There was the labor issues that were in the forties and stuff like that. But by and large, no.” That will come as a surprise to anyone who has read mentions of Walt Disney’s alleged anti-Semitism, or his cryogenically frozen head, or any of the other rumors that swirl around the icon. So in order to get things straight, here is a factual analysis of all the many charges laid against Walt Disney in real life. Spoiler alert: He is not buried beneath Pirates of the Caribbean.
He was hiring other races and letting them into Disneyland before others were. I have a big post about how Walt make big moves in this way after song of the south came out, and I have posted about many women and just did today that worked under Walt.
a Historical animation expert said that there were no women anywhere in Hollywood at the time; they were relegated to inking and painting. He explained, “That was an industry-wide practice. There were, however, a number of women working at [Disney] in a creative capacity during that time, mostly in story development.”
In 1941, Disney defended women to the men working on Dumbo, stating, “If a woman can do the work as well, she is worth as much as a man. The girl artists have the right to expect the same chances for advancement as men, and I honestly believe they may eventually contribute something to this business that men never would or could.”
Disney hired his first female animator, Retta Scott, in 1942 for Bambi, and Mary Blair was the art supervisor and color stylist for Saludos Amigos, The Three Caballeros, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan. By 1959, Disney was writing, “Women are the best judges of anything we turn out. Their taste is very important. They are the theatergoers, they are the ones who drag the men in. If the women like it, to heck with the men.”
Disney’s anti-Semitism is the biggest myth of all; Neal Gabler, author ofWalt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination, said,“It would be unfair to label him an anti-Semite himself, There is no evidence whatsoever in the extensive Disney Archives of any anti-Semitic remarks or actions by Walt.” Herman “Kay” Kamen, a Jew, was Disney’s merchandising chief, and Kamen once joked that Disney’s New York office “had more Jews than the Book of Leviticus.”
Disney donated to The Hebrew Orphan Asylum of the City of New York, Yeshiva College, and the Jewish Home for the Aged.
The claims of anti-Semitism were drummed up by Snow White animators Art Babbitt and David Hilberman, who were furious when the animators went on strike in 1941. Disney was convinced the strike was fomented by communists, whom he hated, and he joined the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals, which was anti-Semitic but primarily anti-communist.
Douglas Brode, the Jewish author of Multiculturalism and the Mouse: Race and Sex in Disney Entertainment, said:There is zero hard evidence that Disney ever wrote or said anything anti-Semitic in private or public. His films feature a wide array of great Jewish actors in the most diverse roles imaginable, more so than any other studio of Hollywood’s golden age, including those run by Jewish movie moguls. Finally, there is no evidence in the work of anti-Semitism via negatively portrayed Jewish characters. Disney, let’s recall, was the first filmmaker ever to cast a Jewish actor, Ed Wynn, as Santa Claus, in Babes in Toyland. We ought to give Disney the benefit of the doubt.
One of Walt’s former secretaries, Dorothy Wrigley, was recently asked in an interview if she had ever seen any displays of racism or bigotry by her boss. Without hesitation, she said, “No.” She said he was always professional. Tough at times, yes, because he had a vision and knew what he wanted.
and now that I have given you a history lesson might I suggest a little something to you, Disney is not a perfect company, probably never will be but I choose to look at the GOOD it does! and OH does it do good! also I am a person that makes a stand against the same things you go on and on about (but I do my research and homework) might I suggest that you find ways to change the issues happening now instead of going after a man who can’t defend himself since he’s been dead for 48 years. Also another wrong thing to do is judge people so I also would like you to add to your list of wrong things as judging people for things you don’t understand so I hope that you will kindly stop judging myself and fellow Disney fans for what we choose to love!
Someone requested I make this rebloggable. Here ya go!
I almost didn’t read the rest of this because you started an argument against racism and sexism with, “I don’t know if you are aware much of History at this time period but everyone was [racist/sexist
]…” I don’t care who or what you’re defending when you do that because that is literally the worst way to start an argument. Here’s a pretty good essay on why this mentality is bad…
Things need to be observed critically - always! No matter when or where it was. I’m an art major, the first thing you do as an art major is take a critical practice class so you can learn to critically examine things, such as art and history. It’s how we learn. Everything must be looked at critically, even if it’s in the past. I think even more so when you’re a fan of something, we need to look at it critically. You said, “Disney is not a perfect company, probably never will be but I choose to look at the GOOD it does!” This is good and all, but it’s also a good habit to look at the bad they do and the bad they have done. Yes, Disney the man wasn’t perfect, Disney the company (still) isn’t perfect. But why? Look at and examine why and try to encourage that change.
As a fan of Disney I can look at things in Peter Pan, Lady and the Tramp, and (especially) Song of the South, among many other things, and recognize the racism in them. I’m not going to sit here today and say that it’s okay because it’s a product of it’s time. It’s never okay, no matter what time period. I can also look at what they’ve done recently and notice this: Since the year 2000 Disney/Pixar has released 28 films, if I did my math right, and only four of those had people of color as the leads, and out of those four, three of the films main characters were turned into animals for the majority of the movie (The Emperor’s New Groove, Brother Bear, and Princess and the Frog). That seems odd…
I’m not agreeing with the anon who asked the question, and I actually agree with “your response” - even though it was literally copy and pasted from this article by William Bigelow. And his article is even questionable based on him saying Disney was a product of his time - please let’s stop trying to ignore that people did shitty things in the past because it was the past.
I’m just pointing out that we need to recognize the shitty things they did, the shitty things they still do, and bring it to attention. And when you bring it to attention, you aren’t doing it to hate against them or stand against them, you’re doing it because you love the work they do and you want them to change for the better.
When I started becoming a bigger fan of Disney, the first thing I did was look up and figure out if the dude was racist (everyone says he is anyway). It’s questionable. He’s got a lot going for him if you do your research, but if you look at the material he helped produce he’s got stuff going against him too. He worked on and produced a lot of feature length films that have clear signs of racism in them. The animation industry as a whole, especially in the past, had a lot going against it if you want to examine if it was racist or not. There’s nothing wrong with recognizing that, and wondering why it was that way.
We look at the past to try to see how today we can do things differently, and better. Sure, Disney is dead and can’t stand up for himself, but as man he had a lot of power and influence and reached out to millions (billions maybe) of people in the work he did. He might not be able to defend himself now, but the work he produced is still out there reaching the masses; so of course we have every right to examine that work, the influence he had in it, and determine what was good and bad about it - and again, how we can improve upon it.
And, in defense of Walt, here’s a pretty good article that The Walt Disney Museum wrote.
I didn’t want to post this here but I have been wanting to write an essay about racism in animation, especially in the past. So I guess this a good starting off point…and you did just copy an article that someone else wrote without sourcing it or giving them credit. And it’s kinda crappy to pass it off as your own response.