Some of the things Mr. (or Ms.) Ranter puts up I agree with, other things not so much. For instance:
If Art Babbitt Were Alive Today...
...he would be "blacklisted" as a troublemaker.
it wouldn't be a blacklist by the studios.
It'd be by the animation artists.
Yes, blacklisting is around, but is it generally started by the studios when an artist rightfully complains about being taken advantage of, or is it started by their fellow artists who don't want to "rock the boat" no matter how many unpaid hours are put in to meet unreasonable schedules?
I've not talked to an artist that wasn't hired by the studios for standing up for themselves, but I've certainly met artists who don't get recommended by other artists for their loudmouths.
If Mr. Babbitt were around today, the same career arc he had in the thirties, forties and onward would be pretty much the career he'd have ... today.
Because though animation technologies evolve, human passions and behaviors don't change very much through time.
Greed, lust, jealousy, back-biting, infighting, scheming, rage, sorrow, all pretty much the same in 1938 as in 2008. Hell, the same in 1248, for that matter.
So. What would happen to 21st century Art?
Oh, he would make enemies of management at one studio or another ... just as he enraged Walt in 1941. The only difference now? Management rotates through places a lot faster. Nobody stays top dog like Walt did for forty-plus years, and institutional memories are short. So Art would not be able to work for one or another studio topkick, but chances are the topkick would be gone after a few years, and Art would be back, because today's institutional memories are short, and studios operate more than ever under the old Jack L. Warner dictum:
"Don't let that bastard in here ever again.
"Unless we need him."
So Ranter is half right. The studios now are large, robotic conglomerates that don't personalize much and don't hold long grudges. (How could they? Few mucky mucks hang around long.) But Art would no doubt have a few Captains of Industry from whom he would have to steer clear.
But would he piss off his fellow workers? Probably some, because Art was a prickly personality. (I met him once.) But because many artists respect top talent, even when attached to disagreeable personalities, Art would keep working.
How do I know? Let's take a look at the old 20th-century Art, at the end of a long career. It's 1991, and he's not the animator of old, not by a long shot. He's elderly, wizened, stooped, shrunken and his drawing is not what it used to be. But he's got a job at Bill Melendez Productions.
Why? Because Bill Melendez loves and respects Art, knew him and admired him as a young artist during the '41 Disney strike, and has the wherewithal half a century later to employ Art and help him keep going ... until Art's death in the Spring of 1992.
So here, Ranter is three quarters wrong. Yes, there are artists who are fearful, selfish and petty, who would blackball a fellow employee. But there are many artists, artists like Bill Melendez, who wouldn't. And 21st century Art would end his days pretty much as his 20th century incarnation ended it.
Because human hearts, emotions, nerve-endings, don't change.