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Was Walt Disney a 'Gender Bigot'? (Meryl Streep Thinks So)

AdriHead 2014/01/09 20:00:00
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Meryl Streep didn't have a loss for words Tuesday night when she presented at the National Board of Review awards dinner. The A-list actress was there to honor Emma Thompson for her portrayal of "Mary Poppins" creator P.L. Travers in Disney’s "Saving Mr. Banks" ... when she said a few choice words about Walt Disney himself.


Olga Popova / Shutterstock.com

In the speech, Streep said "Some of his associates reported that Walt Disney didn’t really like women," and quoted one of Disney's animators saying of his old boss: "He didn’t trust women or cats." But, then, the real kicker: Streep called Disney a "gender bigot." Yikes.

In addition to calling Disney out on sexism, Streep also accused the iconic film maker of anti-Semitism, saying he supported "an anti-Semitic industry lobbying group."

The Walt Disney Foundation has since responded to Streep's claims with the following tweet: "Hey @officialMStreep! Want the real truth about Walt Disney? Visit the museum and we'll give you a tour. Or, you know... Google it. :)"

What do you think about Meryl Streep's recent words against Walt Disney? Do you think Disney was a gender bigot?

Carousel image provided by: cinemafestival / Shutterstock.com

Read More: http://variety.com/2014/biz/awards/meryl-streep-bl...

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Top Opinion

  • Lanikai 2014/01/09 20:23:00
    No
    Lanikai
    +18
    No, he was a man who had vision and a dream, at a time when roles were clearly defined.

    It is NOT his fault that people like Streep don't WANT anyone to be what they are.

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  • MisterOriginal 2014/02/09 04:58:21
    No
    MisterOriginal
    Where do these people come up with such crazy phrases?
  • U-Dog 2014/01/18 06:17:47
    No
    U-Dog
    Honestly I know just enough about Walt Disney to know that he was a modern collectivist fantasy seller type who thought that productive good was the real cause of evil. The idea that Streep thinks him evil is somewhat predictable and pathetically hilarious.
  • Soundstorm 2014/01/18 05:51:27 (edited)
    No
    Soundstorm
    So easy for the liberal bullies to slander people long dead and unable to defend themselves. The kind of thing we've come to expect from cowards like Jim Carrey and Seth MacFarlane.
  • littlebuffalo55TBA 2014/01/16 22:46:49
    No
    littlebuffalo55TBA
    +1
    The "No" is for this absurd notion that all these people from the past are somehow to be held to today's version of morals. Lol...I mean what Bill Clinton was at one point a misogynist? Duh! Was Edger Allen Poe an Opium Addict? Duh!

    I like how one of my friends here says he probably was but then puts it into the perspective of the time he lived in.

    I think a lot of Meryl Streep. Talented and all that! I say a very Bush Move! It's an awards ceremony NOT her Pulpit! Whatever Walt Disney was he built an empire in the entertainment industry that is now world wide put a whole lot of talent to work and they were paid well!

    Huh? Maybe we should have fired Eisenhower 12 hours before D-Day for cheating on his wife? Yup that'll do it!

    In my mind she has reduced herself to rank paparazzi! Does she have a right to her opinion? Certainly! Was that the time or place to speak to it? Nope!
  • Tina 2014/01/16 04:45:36
    No
    Tina
    +1
    .... for someone who is a gender bigot, he sure has a lot of films with animals, including cats, and women, including princesses
  • Billyk75 2014/01/15 19:36:36
    No
    Billyk75
    +3
    I guess it takes one to know one. Right Streep?
  • Soundstorm Billyk75 2014/01/18 05:56:07
    Soundstorm
    +1
    Next she's making a movie produced by action shoot-em-up movie maker Harvey Weinstein that threatens to make the NRA "wish they weren't alive". Wherever does the Hollywood nobility get this notion that they're qualified to stand in judgement over us?
  • Billyk75 Soundstorm 2014/01/18 13:25:36
    Billyk75
    +1
    The Hollywood leftists are legends in their own minds.
  • Temlakos~POTL~PWCM~JLA~☆ 2014/01/15 19:25:34
    No
    Temlakos~POTL~PWCM~JLA~☆
    +2
    Then again: to a liberal, and that is what Meryl Streep is, a bigot is anyone who disagrees with the Liberal Line. So she feels within her rights to call Walt Disney anything she d__n well pleases.
  • TombstoneJim 2014/01/15 18:50:44
    No
    TombstoneJim
    +2
    Walt Disney made wonderful children's films.....Meryl is a trampy woman, and how dare she cast dispersions on a mans character that built a clean, family centered studio - since savaged by others, but when Walt was in charge the movies where fun, clean and almost all classics.....Let Ms. Streep sleaze around with her Hollywood ilk and leave judgements to people with more experience and character than she has.
  • Big Battles 2014/01/15 18:46:09
    No
    Big Battles
    +2
    and I'm shocked at the stupidity.
  • Old Guy 2014/01/15 17:50:35
    No
    Old Guy
    +2
    I think he was a man born in 1901 and had the same beliefs and values of most men of his generation.

    I really hate when people try and judge the past by the values of today.
  • Raymond59 2014/01/15 17:46:55
    No
    Raymond59
    +3
    It's easy for Meryl Streep to attack someone who's not around to defend themselves . Especially someone that has been dead for nearly 50 years (December 15, 1966). Also, if Meryl Streep has such a low opinion of Walt Disney, why is she even bothering to star in the upcoming movie, "Into The Woods" (a movie being made by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures). Sounds like a bit of hypocrisy on the part of Meryl Streep. Maybe she should be giving back the money that she got for portraying "The Witch" (the perfect description of her).
  • Luke 2014/01/15 17:46:11
    No
    Luke
    +3
    That's it.... I think with that slam there is no longer anyone who has not been attacked on the planet.
    She was there to honor Emma but had a wild hair accross her skinney ass and felt she had to slam a guy,who is not perfect...nobody is, that thrilled children for decades. What was she thinking??? Maybe drunk or had stopped over Beabers house on the way????
  • Professor Wizard 2014/01/15 14:11:56
    No
    Professor Wizard
    +3
    1: Why do we give a crap what she thinks or says? While she is entitled to her opinion, it should not be news!

    2: Why does SHE give a crap what Disney did 40 years ago? He must have turned her down for a part in "The Absent-Minded Professor" - and she never got over it!

    3: How did she become an expert in ascertaining who is a bigot, and who is not?

    - - No.. he was not a Gender Bigot. He did exactly what was socially appropriate at the time.
  • Kory 2014/01/15 09:11:42
    No
    Kory
    Do not know too much about the man, but I know a lot about the industry he's worked in and especially at that era. He was anti Zionism and he displayed this a lot on his cartoons.
  • Raymond59 Kory 2014/01/15 18:00:41 (edited)
    Raymond59
    Walt Disney was far from being "anti Zionism" and/or anti-Semitic. Neal Gabler (who is an American journalist and a professor for the MFA program at Stony Brook Southampton) was the first writer to gain unrestricted access to the Disney archives, concluded that available evidence did not support accusations of antisemitism and/or "anti Zionism." Also, if you had done a little research (as I have), you would've realized that Walt Disney befriended many Jewish schoolmates, donated to several Jewish charities (The Hebrew Orphan Asylum, Yeshiva College, Jewish Home for the Aged, and The American League for a Free Palestine), and was named "1955 Man of the Year" by the B'nai B'rith chapter in Beverly Hills. Also, during that period of time, many cartoons (other from Walt Disney Studios) would be as deemed as taboo now. I do think, however, its a little rash to make an opinion about someone, especially when you yourself have stated "Do not know too much about the man...." Maybe next time, you should do a little research to enlighten yourself so you can express a more informed opinion.
  • Kory Raymond59 2014/01/16 13:53:59 (edited)
    Kory
    Theres a huge difference between anti-Zionism and anti-semitism. I have done research in that specific area and it was common knowledge that he was against Zionism (not Judaism). In fact he was accused of anti semitism due to his views on Zionism. The very ZIONISTS that he disliked in the entertainment business had far superior leverage to Walt Disney when it came to propaganda and politics. Therefore to make him seem like a bigoted patriot and demonise his own image and his work, they blamed him for anti- semitism. For example, Michael Jackson was blamed for peadophila but there was zero evidence to suggest this, he was a victim of the same treatment. Some of Walt Disneys works are now deemed taboo for this very reason, it does not fit the criteria that 'they' are trying to meet.

    Next time do not try and belittle me.
  • Raymond59 Kory 2014/01/16 18:38:04
    Raymond59
    +1
    The place that Meryl Streep did her diatribe was the wrong place to do it!!!! It was a tribute to Emma Thompson, not to Meryl Streep. Streep was there to pay tribute to her, not get on a soapbox and send out a nine (9) minute diatribe against a man who has been dead for almost 50 years. First, if you do research into Disney's life, you will find a decent human being who acted within the societal norms of his time. And he distanced himself from previous positions when he grew as a person, AS WE ALL DO! As you go through Life, you find that out for yourself!!!! Are you the same person you were even twenty years ago? No. Washington was a slave owner and yet we still celebrate his birthday along with Lincoln's. Why? Why don't we take Washington's (and Jefferson's) images off America's currency? Isn't slavery despicable? Do even their great accomplishments exonerate them from our scorn? Well, of course. It's because we take their lives within the contexts of their times. Second, there is a time and place for everything. This event was neither! Obviously, Meryl Streep doesn't have the proper cognitive functioning or the common sense to realize that. If the event was an academic symposium on sexism and racism, past and present, then certainly that would be an appropriate forum for Ms...
    The place that Meryl Streep did her diatribe was the wrong place to do it!!!! It was a tribute to Emma Thompson, not to Meryl Streep. Streep was there to pay tribute to her, not get on a soapbox and send out a nine (9) minute diatribe against a man who has been dead for almost 50 years. First, if you do research into Disney's life, you will find a decent human being who acted within the societal norms of his time. And he distanced himself from previous positions when he grew as a person, AS WE ALL DO! As you go through Life, you find that out for yourself!!!! Are you the same person you were even twenty years ago? No. Washington was a slave owner and yet we still celebrate his birthday along with Lincoln's. Why? Why don't we take Washington's (and Jefferson's) images off America's currency? Isn't slavery despicable? Do even their great accomplishments exonerate them from our scorn? Well, of course. It's because we take their lives within the contexts of their times. Second, there is a time and place for everything. This event was neither! Obviously, Meryl Streep doesn't have the proper cognitive functioning or the common sense to realize that. If the event was an academic symposium on sexism and racism, past and present, then certainly that would be an appropriate forum for Ms. Streep's comments, but also a place where others can join the discussion and present differing views unlike "an Awards show." That's why I don't even bother to watch the Academy Awards ("the Oscars") anymore. It's become the same thing!!!! Third, Streep's comments stank of publicity/attention seeking (otherwise known as being "an Attention Whore"), because I can think of no other reason she would stoop so low and dredge up from the bottom of the barrel to such idiotic classlessness. As for you? Oh, like you're not trying to belittle or tear down an American icon like Meryl Streep attempted to do? Please, pray tell, what have you contributed to the Society of Mankind and/or the cause of Humanity in your minuscule 21 years of existence on this Planet???? What prejudges against Humanity do you have? We're just dying to know! Mine? I have a prejudge against people that are just plain too stupid for their own good and wished they were dead! They're "a waste of space." Present company included! And, btw, we're not talking about Michael Jackson. Please and try to stay "on the topic" at hand. But if you want to touch upon Michael Jackson, having little boys over to one's mansion and reports of Michael Jackson (that he himself confirmed in several interviews and made no effort to deny) sleeping with them, in one's bed isn't (as they say), "isn't exactly normal behavior." Maybe if he (Jackson) didn't have little boys at his home in the first place, he would've have all those stories told about him? Walt Disney (on the other hand) brought more happiness and joy to a World at a time that truly needed it. Especially at a time when the World was on the brink of literally destroying and blowing itself to kingdom come (referencing "the Cold War"). His concept of bringing happiness crossed International Borders and knew no Political bounds. He even had women working in the Animation Department of his Studios before other major Movie Studios even bothered to "opened up their Doors." Even by your admission, you yourself admitted that you didn't "know too much about the man." If you don't like being belittled, you shouldn't be making the mistake of SETTING YOURSELF UP TO BEING "BELITTLED!" There's an old saying: “You can run with the big dogs or sit on the porch and bark.” You offer no firm evidence, only the word of Meryl Streep herself. That evidence is already been proven suspect at best and based upon innuendo. She uses a quote from Erza Pound (who he himself was "anti-Semitic"). That's her source? LOL! As a Jew (on my Father's side of the Family and though I'm a Christian), I have no problem with Walt Disney's reputation. Everyone has faults. Including myself and You. It seems though that people like Meryl Streep is though being a little bit of a hypocrite though. She's starring in a movie ("Into The Woods"), that's being released by the very same Movie Company that Walt Disney founded (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures) and taking a check (and cashing it) from that Company as well. As I previously stated, "Maybe she should be giving back the money that she got for portraying "The Witch" (the perfect description of her)." Alot of the people that accused him of "anti-Zionism and anti-Semitic" are people in the Movie Industry that had he had creative differences with. Meryl Streep’s comments about Walt Disney are completely uninformed. She alleged that Walt “supported an anti-Semitic industry lobbying group.” The group she’s referring to is the Motion Picture Alliance, founded to fight communism in Hollywood. It was founded by a group of 20 – "the who’s who of Hollywood" – and 3 of the founders were Jews: Victor Fleming, Cecil B. DeMille, and Ayn Rand, who wrote their publications. Ronald Reagan was a member as well. Now, I guess that you're next going to throw the charge that Ronald Reagan was "anti-Zionism and anti-Semitic" as well, huh? That'll be a nice trick to try to pull (being sarcastic). Walt disowned the group a few years later, and I imagine that’s when Victor, Cecil and Ayn left as well. He hired his first Jewish employee in 1925 – 3 years before Mickey Mouse came on the scene. Not a single Jewish employee, and there were many, ever considered him "anti-Zionism and anti-Semitic." She (Streep) quotes Ward Kimble as saying “he was suspicious of Women and Cats”? This is the scene: Walt standing in the corner looking suspicious as he watches his wife and 2 daughters play with their cats. And labeling him "a sexist" based on a form letter that was written by Ward Kimble in 1938? That evidence is just ludicrous, not to mention dumb! There is an enormous amount of information out there about whether or not Walt was any of these things – quite interesting really. Most people who’ve researched the facts don’t think Walt was "anti-Zionism and anti-Semitic" – there are no smoking guns here. Only in your mind!!!!
    (more)
  • Soundstorm Kory 2014/01/18 06:14:53
    Soundstorm
    The anti-Zionist mask used by today's anti-Semites is so easy to see through it's a joke. You belittle yourself with your dishonest and cowardly attacks on a man's reputation.
  • Soundstorm Kory 2014/01/18 06:09:36
    Soundstorm
    Hold on! Show us some credible examples. Don't think you can get away with hit and run slander.
  • Kerymi 2014/01/15 01:20:43
    Yes
    Kerymi
    I can believe it. He didn't really seem like a particularly pleasant dude, and the cartoons he put out during his lifetime often had some very questionable material.
  • Soundstorm Kerymi 2014/01/18 06:22:41
    Soundstorm
    It's because of how he bashed Democrats, isn't it?

    Lampwick donkey
  • Kerymi Soundstorm 2014/03/17 20:38:15
    Kerymi
    Never heard of him doing so. Although I am not a Democrat, I do believe it is childish to bash someone simply because their political ideals don't match your own.
  • Soundstorm Kerymi 2014/03/17 22:08:12
    Soundstorm
    It's a game adults play which we ignore at our peril.
  • amorris72200 2014/01/15 00:41:41
    No
    amorris72200
    I don't think it was a "gender Bigot" but Maybe a parental issues! LOL EVERY Disney movie has at least one if not both parents dead, missing, or just not there! Haha! He definitely needed some therapy there! ;)
  • Random amorris... 2014/01/15 02:37:23 (edited)
    Random
    +3
    Lol!
    To be fair though, Disney mostly adapted Fairy Tales or popular books (in the case of Peter Pan, they based their movie on a book that was originally a play!) And many of the original stories didn't have mothers or even parents in general. The orphaned protagonist is a common trope in literature and when the Fairy Tales were being passed on/written down, dying in childbirth was pretty common, hence no mothers. Disney might not be known for being accurate to it's source material, but oddly enough, they did often copy and paste the drawbacks from their original stories.
    Also, doesn't Sleeping Beauty have both parents alive during the entire thing?
  • ross 2014/01/14 21:33:33
    No
    ross
    +2
    No, but I think Meryl is.
  • Wyveryx 2014/01/14 21:28:28
    No
    Wyveryx
    A: I never knew the man personally and history is written by winners and survivors.

    B: She should not have denigrated Disney especially since he's not alive to defend his position.

    Whatever interest in her as an actress I had is no longer, and I never had an interest in her as a person.
  • phinetta chinn 2014/01/14 20:58:09
    No
    phinetta chinn
    +1
    come with something concrete or give it a rest...
    These type of stories always make me feel a type of funny way....leave Whitney and Princess Diana along...let them rest in peace
  • Dayna_king 2014/01/14 19:05:07
    No
    Dayna_king
    +1
    He was just a man form a different era.
  • nightcrawler2005 2014/01/14 17:57:10
    No
    nightcrawler2005
    +1
    First of all calling Meryl Streep an A-list actress.......sorry not in my books she's a pathetic washed up has been.
    I guess she feels pretty brave attacking someone who's dead and can't defend himself or trying to equate today's politically correct standards to someone from another era.

    Personally I don't know or care if Disney had a problem working with women the man did good and brought joy to a hell of a lot of people and that's far more than I can say about Meryl Streep.
  • Avi Rosen 2014/01/14 10:50:32
    No
    Avi Rosen
    +1
    He belonged to an era that thought differently, and was based upon ancient chivalry values coming from folk legends...
    The new Disney products are completely on the contrary.
  • Bob Roberts 2014/01/14 05:27:51
    No
    Bob Roberts
    Meryl Streep is a gender bigot, look at her, digging up long dead old men in order to vent her feminist rage against men!

    How old is she? Her 15 minutes are up, perhaps it's time she followed Disney to that great production lot in the sky.

    Look at her, claiming "Disney didn't like women" - so he was gay - she has a problem with that?

    Where is GLAAD when you need them?
  • hippycat 2014/01/14 00:25:22
    Yes
    hippycat
    +1
    Walt Disney's views were at best questionable. well, done, Meryl Streep!
  • alternates300 2014/01/13 19:00:07
    No
    alternates300
    Hate that stupid word. BIGOT BIGOT BIGOT. All they ever freaking say.
  • Boon Doggie 2014/01/13 16:46:12
    No
    Boon Doggie
    She needs to engage her brain before speaking.
  • the judgebigdogeagle-~PWCM~JLA 2014/01/13 15:46:24
    No
    the judgebigdogeagle-~PWCM~JLA
    +1
    but it was the Men who were CEO & running the show in Hollywood at that time. Not anymore today
  • MicheleAshley 2014/01/13 03:31:46
    Yes
    MicheleAshley
    +3
    He was, but he was also born in 1901.
  • MentalGopher 2014/01/13 03:25:16
    No
    MentalGopher
    +2
    I think he was on par with a lot of the men of his day. So, compared to a lot of men today, he probably was sexist. For his time, however, I would argue that there were probably men who were closer to a Neanderthal description.

    I find it more troubling that he didn't trust cats, though.
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