Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Meryl Disses Walt

Now with bloggy Add On.

Oh. My. GOD.

Meryl Streep Blasts Walt Disney at National Board of Review Dinner

This year’s ceremony will forever be remembered for its nine-minute tour-de-force speech from Meryl Streep.

Streep, for once, wasn’t invited to accept an award. Instead, she was there to honor Emma Thompson for her portrait as “Mary Poppins” creator P.L. Travers in Disney’s “Saving Mr. Banks.”

There was plenty of effusive Thompson praising in the speech — with phrases like “she’s practically a saint” and “she’s a beautiful artist” — and it ended with a poem that Streep had written for her friend titled “An Ode to Emma, Or What Emma is Owed.” But Streep also made a point of blasting Walt Disney for his sexist and anti-Semitic stances.

The edgy riff offered a different perspective on Disney from the sugarcoated hero played by Tom Hanks in “Saving Mr. Banks.” Streep was once rumored to be in the running for the role of P.L. Travers, although her remarks suggest why she might not have pursued the project.

“Some of his associates reported that Walt Disney didn’t really like women,” Streep said, quoting esteemed animator Ward Kimball on his old boss: “He didn’t trust women or cats.”

Streep talked about how Disney “supported an anti-Semitic industry lobbying group” and called him a “gender bigot.” She read a letter that his company wrote in 1938 to an aspiring female animator. It included the line, “Women do not do any of the creative work in connection with preparing the cartoons for the screen, as that task is performed entirely by young men.”

Attacking Saint WALT? Can you imagine?

We've pointed out on various occasions that Mr. Disney could be prejudiced, vindictive, and not above violating federal labor laws when it suited his purpose. He also was a major cultural force in the world and had superior creative and story instincts.

My old man, who worked for Mr. Disney for 28 years, once told me, "You know, Walt isn't just the guy on the t.v. Walt can also be a shit."

Sure he could be. Just like every other human who walks the planet. Walt Disney wasn't a plaster saint. Wasn't a corporate symbol. He was a man.

Add On: Floyd N. has his own take here.

(I agree with Floyd about taking people out of the context of their times. By today's standards, Abraham Lincoln would be a deep-dyed bigot. And many Hollywood liberals from the 1930s would be considered horrid today because of the racial stereotyping in their movies. Gone With The Wind is more racist, by today's standards, than Song of the South, yet South is the picture that's been deep-sixed by the Disney Company.)

9 comments:

Christopher Sobieniak said...

And yet it's another nail in his coffin, Steve. At least by people who still like to act like this is something new.

Floyd Norman said...

Don't get me started. Was Walt perfect? Hell no! Nor is anyone else in this wacky business... or in the world for that matter.

But compared to today's Hollywood elite - the man was a saint.

Andreas Deja said...

This is what happens when people form opinions based on hearsay and what they
find on the internet.
Talk to people who worked with Walt, talk to them!!!

Steve Hulett said...

I did.

He was, apparently, a human being. With a human being's good points and bad points.

Imagine.

(Most of his employees thought he was fine.)

Steven Gordon said...

I'm sure Walt was probably an a-hole and a sexist a lot of the time (that's been documented more than a few times), but if he was Anti-Semitic than he was a really bad one and made the mistake of hiring a lot of Jews to work for him.

Christopher Sobieniak said...

"This is what happens when people form opinions based on hearsay and what they
find on the internet."


There's also that sort of enlightened smugness to look back at the past and simply write it off as such as if none of it matters to us anymore because we don't act that way anymore. If only those people had lived those days, they wouldn't say a word!

F. Kousac said...

"supported an anti-Semitic industry lobbying group"

WHAT group? That's a pretty blanket comment. Actually, it's a flat out lie.

Walt, and two of his best friends, Sam Goldwyn and David O. Selznick (along with Mary Pickford, Walter Wanger, Orson Wells, Alexander Korda, and Charlie Chaplin) worked diligently together to fight--AND WIN--the practice of "Block Booking" by the major studios all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. It is a fact that the rumors of "anti-semitism" was spread by the heads of the major studios--all of whom were Jewish. The same men who forced most of their stars to change their names because they sounded "too Jewish." And in the case of Harry Cohn Louis Mayer, serial womanizers. And in the case of Travers herself a more vocally strident anti-semite until her death.

The Disney company had the same percentage of women working at their plant as all the majors. And with the exception of a handful of women (in particular during the silent era) up until the late '50's, the same amount of women who had creative influence of any kind.

I enjoy Streep's performances, but my respect for her as a human has been blown down a notch. She ought to do as much research in her history as she does in her roles.

http://www.amazon.com/Hollywood-Renegades-Society-Independent-Producers/dp/1890110248/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1389242154&sr=1-1&keywords=Society+of+Independent+Motion+Picture+Producers

http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/us-supreme-court-decides-paramount-antitrust-case

F. Kousac said...

"supported an anti-Semitic industry lobbying group"

WHAT group? That's a pretty blanket comment. Actually, it's a flat out lie.

Walt, and two of his best friends, Sam Goldwyn and David O. Selznick (along with Mary Pickford, Walter Wanger, Orson Wells, Alexander Korda, and Charlie Chaplin) worked diligently together to fight--AND WIN--the practice of "Block Booking" by the major studios all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. It is a fact that the rumors of "anti-semitism" was spread by the heads of the major studios--all of whom were Jewish. The same men who forced most of their stars to change their names because they sounded "too Jewish." And in the case of Harry Cohn Louis Mayer, serial womanizers. And in the case of Travers herself a more vocally strident anti-semite until her death.

The Disney company had the same percentage of women working at their plant as all the majors. And with the exception of a handful of women (in particular during the silent era) up until the late '50's, the same amount of women who had creative influence of any kind.

I enjoy Streep's performances, but my respect for her as a human has been blown down a notch. She ought to do as much research in her history as she does in her roles.

http://www.amazon.com/Hollywood-Renegades-Society-Independent-Producers/dp/1890110248/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1389242154&sr=1-1&keywords=Society+of+Independent+Motion+Picture+Producers

http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/us-supreme-court-decides-paramount-antitrust-case

Diablo said...

Thank you, Kousac. I thought I was the only one to think miss Streep was barking at the wrong tree here.

Male bashing is IN. Or so it seems....thank you Oprah!

Site Meter