8 Jan 2014

Meryl Streep attacks Walt Disney on antisemitism and sexism

While honouring Emma Thompson at a dinner for the National Board of Review on Tuesday night, Meryl Streep made an extraordinary speech that criticised Walt Disney for being a "gender bigot" who was a member of an antisemitic lobbying organisation.


Streep, perhaps Hollywood's most respected and beloved actor, showed she is far from a cosy establishment figure as she carefully trod a line between praising Thompson and attacking Disney. The very film Thompson was being celebrated for, Saving Mr Banks, is based around Walt Disney's persuading of PL Travers to allow him to adapt Mary Poppins.

According to Variety's Ramin Setoodeh, Streep called Thompson "a beautiful artist" who is "practically a saint", and read out a self-penned poem to the actor, before launching into her criticisms of Disney. She quoted a letter he wrote to a female animator that read: "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." She also noted that Disney's colleague Walter Kimball said that his boss "didn't trust women or cats."

The Guardian

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