Wednesday, January 08, 2014

The Devil's Dissin' Disney

Last November I wrote a post lamenting a book that was receiving some attention for portraying the dark side of Norman Rockwell, the iconic illustrator of American life.  It struck me as sad that with so much evil in the world, why it was necessary to explore this side of a man, long dead, who brought so much joy to the casual observer.  You didn't have to be a patron of the arts to appreciate Rockwell's work. Nor did those of us enjoying it at the time, even think of looking for something tawdry hidden within.

Now, it seems, Meryl Streep has found it necessary to do much the same to Walt Disney.  Also long gone from this earth but hardly forgotten. He hated women.  He was anti-Semitic.  He didn't trust cats.  Neither does my husband but that doesn't make him evil.

What is it with these celebrities?  Better Ms. Streep go after me.  I'll not be remembered for anything. But then, maybe that's why.  There is no danger of my eclipsing her for whatever end. But Walt Disney? Look what he has brought us. At the very least there's Mickey Mouse, Minnie and Pluto.  Donald Duck and his nephews.  Each and every one of his classic films that entertain today just as much as they did when first produced.

I have no idea what he was like in person.  It doesn't matter to me that at the time women couldn't be animators at Disney.  It's the way it was in those days. I doubt he held an exclusive on which jobs were open to women in the industry as a whole. So why is it necessary, at an awards ceremony honoring someone else, no less, was it necessary to disparage him? Does it warm your feminist soul?

There are personal pasts that deserve to be remembered for the ill they served.  There are also personal pasts that should be left well enough alone. Especially when their achievements and contributions to what's good in the world far outweigh their personal demons.

Go away Ms. Streep.  Take your mean spiritedness with you. It will, you see, be forgotten anyway.  By people like me who grew up watching and loving Disney films and will continue to do so.  People like me who can name maybe one film in which you starred and have actually not seen any. The Devil Wears Prada. Curious, that is the one I remember. Is it a fair representation of you as a person and your work?

Hopefully it's as just and fair as the representation you made of Walt Disney.

1 comment:

Word Tosser said...

Her latest movie, which the title escapes me.. something August.. the promo sections show her like her remarks.. I, too, get sick and tired of judgement on someone of the past who no longer can speak for is like they can't stand some one being remembered with fond memories of their deeds. I agree with your part about how it was different times.. And why do they use the stage of their views at a place that has nothing to do with their spewl?