Monday, June 19, 2006

Tom Sito on Women (and Others) In Animation

The University of Kentucky Press has given us permission to offer excerpts from Tom's forthcoming book "Drawing the Line, The Untold Story of the Animation Unions from Bosko to Bart Simpson." Since we've been discussing women in animation, this passage seems apropo: Brenda Chapman-Lima was the first woman to be a head of story, or storyboard supervisor, on Disney's "Lion King" (1995). She was later a director of "The Prince of Egypt" (2000). Vicky Jenson codirected the DreamWorks hit films "Shrek" (2001) and "Shark Tale" (2004), and Lorna Pomeroy-Cook codirected the feature "Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron" (2002). Yvette Kaplan directed "Beavis and Butthead Do America" (1998). Many modern Hollywood producers and development executives are women, but as of this writing, women animation artists still aren't as plentiful in U.S. studios as they are in Europe and Latin America. On occasion you still hear things like, "Hey, you're making pretty good money for a girl..." And as we earlier posted Tom's thoughts on black animator Frank Braxton's early struggles in the cartoon business, here's what he says about another black artist: Animator Bob Tyler recalls that when he applied for a job at Disney in 1965, a studio exec tried to fob him off with excuses like "You would probably be too tired from riding the bus up from Inglewood to work properly." Then after the Watts riots and the federal Civil Rights Act establishing hiring quotas for all corporations, the same exec called Tyler and asked sheepishly if he would consider reapplying... The battle for fair shots in the business never ends.

3 comments:

floyd norman said...

I love that story about Bob Tyler.

Man, I'm glad I'm not black.

TotalD said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TotalD said...

When I first started 27 or so years ago I remember one of my directors telling me outright that "women can't animate". It's common for men to say that amongst each other. And it's not over. I was working on Curious George and another of the local animation company owners told me outright "I will never work for women, they don't have a clue what they are doing ".

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