The main evidence for Walt's racial insensitivity ... is "Song of the South," his 1946 combination of live action and animation based on the Southern folk tales of Joel Chandler Harris, known as Uncle Remus, which, though set in the Reconstruction era, makes the black former slaves seem dependent upon and excessively grateful to their former owners. From any modern racial perspective, the film is cringe-inducing
The constant harping on South and its racism gives me a stomach ache. Is it "cringe inducing" by today's standards? Probably. But compare it to the perennial favorite Gone With the Wind (now in Blu-ray!), and it come across as ninety minutes of enlightened sensitivity.
Part of the problem, of course, is that Walt Disney is a national and corporate icon, while David O. Selznick is a long-dead Hollywood producer. Then there is the other minor detail:
In its time, Song of the South was a tidy little money spinner. But Wind? Factoring for inflation, it's the highest grossing film of all time, and in Freedom's Land, big bucks trump everything else.
So if you think that Time Warner is going to ban GWTW from the public marketplace because some of the supporting players are a tad ... uh ... stereotypical, you don't know how conglomerates work. Nothing stands in the way of a smooth, crisp (and ever shrinking) dollar bill.
So let us heap praise on Gone With the Wind's swell Technicolor, and Vivien Leigh's riveting performance, and remember that cash flow is the reason that the 1939 epic is available in the latest digital technology, while Song of the South has vanished.