OMG Meryl Streep - Really?

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Kristen K.'s picture
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OMG Meryl Streep - Really?

I don't think that we're doing a news piece about this unless the story gets bigger - but check this out!
Meryl Streep Calls Walt Disney a 'Gender Bigot' During Award Ceremony, Disney Family Organization Fires Back

http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2014/01/09/meryl-streep-calls-walt-disney-gender-bigot-in-award-presentation-speech/

http://entertainment.time.com/2014/01/09/meryl-streep-lambasted-walt-disney-in-front-of-hollywood-elite/

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I thought she was out of line. Its OK for her to have her own opinions (whether they are true or not), but to share them in a forum such as an awards ceremony....not cool.

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Thanks for posting this, Kristen . I want to deconstruct one of Miss Streep's statements from the Time article that I think is particularly troubling:

"Streep, Variety reports, read a letter that Disney, described as a "gender bigot," sent to a female animator in 1938 that 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.'"

1. This was written in 1938 at a time when I believe that "men are superior to women" was a thought that was the norm among among businessmen in all industries. Men who accepted women in working roles of great importance or notoriety would have been pioneers on gender equality at this point in history. We're talking pre-Rosie the Riveter here...

2. He stated that "Women do not do...". He did NOT say, "Women CANNOT do." They are different statements. It could be that there just happened to be no women working in animation at that time. I can't source this because I heard it in passing somewhere, but wasn't Walt's wife, Lillian, originally employed in ink & paint, a HUGE part in the production of animated films? And I've read in several sources that his personal assistant (who was a woman) was someone who he relied on for counsel at all of the critical junctures of his life. He brought Mary Blair onto his Imagineering team and I've never heard or read a single thing about her being treated differently or shabbily.

Based on what I have read of Walt Disney's life and work and the culture of the Disney company, I'm going to go as far as to say that I believe both Walt and the company as a whole to be very pro-gender equality and equality for all human beings in general. I've read quite a bit about Walt and the company written by people who new him best. I've seen tons of old film clips and I've never seen anything that would for one second suggest that Walt Disney was concerned about anything other than talent and creative vision when he selected people to work with him.

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alicemouse wrote:

"Streep, Variety reports, read a letter that Disney, described as a "gender bigot," sent to a female animator in 1938 that 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.'"

1. This was written in 1938 at a time when I believe that "men are superior to women" was a thought that was the norm among among businessmen in all industries. Men who accepted women in working roles of great importance or notoriety would have been pioneers on gender equality at this point in history. We're talking pre-Rosie the Riveter here...

Thank you! People today have this habit of applying modern ethics and social customs to situations that are entirely out of context and it drives me crazy. Women forget how far we've really come in a VERY VERY short period of time. Even 50 years ago women were still largely expected to only be in the home and raising kids. Those that weren't were rabble rousers. In Disney's day the power in women was still largely in their ability to influence the men in their lives. If had your voice heard is was because you could get your husband and son to speak your mind.

Regardless of how Streep feels about Uncle Walt (did he not hire her or something?) to me two things are clear 1)she had no historical context of the time and 2) the platform that she used to speak out was entirely inappropriate.

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Kristen K. wrote:
alicemouse wrote:

"Streep, Variety reports, read a letter that Disney, described as a "gender bigot," sent to a female animator in 1938 that 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.'"

1. This was written in 1938 at a time when I believe that "men are superior to women" was a thought that was the norm among among businessmen in all industries. Men who accepted women in working roles of great importance or notoriety would have been pioneers on gender equality at this point in history. We're talking pre-Rosie the Riveter here...

Thank you! People today have this habit of applying modern ethics and social customs to situations that are entirely out of context and it drives me crazy. Women forget how far we've really come in a VERY VERY short period of time. Even 50 years ago women were still largely expected to only be in the home and raising kids. Those that weren't were rabble rousers. In Disney's day the power in women was still largely in their ability to influence the men in their lives. If had your voice heard is was because you could get your husband and son to speak your mind.

Regardless of how Streep feels about Uncle Walt (did he not hire her or something?) to me two things are clear 1)she had no historical context of the time and 2) the platform that she used to speak out was entirely inappropriate.

I agree 110% awesome

VelcroPooh

I agree as well. It was the norm of the times everywhere back then, not just Disney. Just look at them now and you'll see 4 women on the board, with one of them as the Director since 2007.

VelcroPooh

P.S.

Streep USED TO BE one of my favorite actresses..........

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When I read what Meryl Streep said I thought, "My aren't we unenlightened." I agree wholeheartedly Kristen....1938 was a different era. Women didn't work outside of the home and those that did were single and were teachers and nurses. Walt was only voicing what was the norm at the time. Meryl get a grip!

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She's just striking a pose, being iconoclastic. What a dumbass thing to say.

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Yes, Walt Disney was a gender bigot...just like almost all men and most women of his generation. My mother, who was a generation younger than Disney, firmly believed a woman's proper place was in the home raising kids and keeping house with her husband as head of the household. Most of her friends and acquaintances felt the same way. These were WOMEN young enough to be Walt's children, yet their attitudes toward women in the workforce were not much different from Walt's.

And these attitudes continued well into my own adulthood. When I went to the orientation session for my first real job, the guy leading the session said to me and the one or two other women in the room, "Girls, make sure you have your secretarial handbook." No, I hadn't been hired as a secretary. He just assumed. Walt Disney was dead and gone nearly a decade by the time that happened.

It's so easy to judge the past by today's standards. Well, it won't be long before another generation will be judging us by standards we didn't know existed. People like Meryl Streep need to remember that.

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Kristen K. wrote:
alicemouse wrote:

"Streep, Variety reports, read a letter that Disney, described as a "gender bigot," sent to a female animator in 1938 that 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.'"

1. This was written in 1938 at a time when I believe that "men are superior to women" was a thought that was the norm among among businessmen in all industries. Men who accepted women in working roles of great importance or notoriety would have been pioneers on gender equality at this point in history. We're talking pre-Rosie the Riveter here...

Thank you! People today have this habit of applying modern ethics and social customs to situations that are entirely out of context and it drives me crazy. Women forget how far we've really come in a VERY VERY short period of time. Even 50 years ago women were still largely expected to only be in the home and raising kids. Those that weren't were rabble rousers. In Disney's day the power in women was still largely in their ability to influence the men in their lives. If had your voice heard is was because you could get your husband and son to speak your mind.

Regardless of how Streep feels about Uncle Walt (did he not hire her or something?) to me two things are clear 1)she had no historical context of the time and 2) the platform that she used to speak out was entirely inappropriate.

I agree as well. Definitely not the time nor place for her comments. My first thought was she is mad that she didn't get the part as PL Travers. I found this other article which talks about how this could improve her chances for an Oscar nomination and lessen Emma Thompon's.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/scottmendelson/2014/01/09/is-meryl-streeps-disney-bashing-oscar-season-mudslinging/?partner=yahootix

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VelcroPooh

Kristen, I saw it on one of the major news channels this morning. Looks like the story is spreading.

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I prefer my actors working from a script. While I still feel she is a brilliant actress I think she should have researched her recent statement as much as any of her paying roles. I'm sure all the minorities on this site would agree that our experiences with Disney are at the top of our most inclusive experiences. I feel no reason to think that a stand of inclusiveness is a mistake but more a direction that was begun at the top many years ago. I don't know if she thought she should have played the part in saving Mr Banks or just never enjoyed a Dole whip but I can promise you that she has no ability to influence my live of all things Disney.

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And this is how Historical facts corrupt the mind of our children...Thank you!

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I'm not watching the Golden Globes but just checked the website to see who some of the winners are so far. I was pleased to see that Meryl wasn't one of them.

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JoAnn C wrote:
I was pleased to see that Meryl wasn't one of them.
Very pleased! Though I had wanted Emma Thompson to win and that didn't happen either.

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saw this today

http://movies.yahoo.com/news/walt-disneys-grandniece-agrees-meryl-streep-racist-050000618.html

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Thanks for posting, JoAnn. I'm going to preface this by saying, and I'm sure this goes for many of you as well, that Walt Disney is my hero. I acknowledge that I am biased toward reports and accounts that support my position that he was a good and just man. Certainly, he was a human being and was susceptible to the same faults and shortcomings that we all are, but I do think that any faults that he did have were far outweighed by the beautiful parks, films, and the sense of magic that he left behind for all of us to enjoy.

I looked it up and Abigail Disney would have been about 6-years-old when her great-uncle Walt died. I was about the same age when my grandfather died. I couldn't begin to vouch for my grandfather's character or give a first-hand account of his real beliefs and opinions about anything. All I remember is that he used to make me eat pancakes and eggs for breakfast even though I hated pancakes and eggs. A 6-year-old child is hardly a reliable character witness--especially nearly 50 years later.

This looks to me to be a cheap attempt on the part of Abigail Disney to try to grab some notoriety for herself by both trashing and cashing-in on her family name simultaneously.

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Well put.

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...and no nomination for Emma Thompson or for best picture. In fact, the only nomination is for Original Score. sad

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I was gonna post something but it might have come across as more of a rant than Meryl Streep's...!

Instead, I think it was disappointing that Saving Mr Banks didn't receive more recognition than it has done. But then there are other movies I think should have been included but weren't this year - Rush, amongst them.

I've been on set with a number of movies that were on the Oscars list last year (actually just one last year) and this year and probably one that might be a shoe-in for the Razzies (but that's another story completely)...I just wish they were judged on merit rather than a bunch of people who were just out for backslapping and self congratulating each other...A film's greatest achievement is to be shown at all, not just because of who you grease up for the award season!

I might be back later to say what I think of the grand-niece's opinions on her grand-uncle...but maybe not!

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I absolutely love this "fact check" post from Cartoon Brew today!
http://www.cartoonbrew.com/disney/fact-checking-meryl-streeps-disney-bashing-speech-94380.html

VelcroPooh

awesome

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Thank your Kristen for that link. Walt Disney was a product of his time and he wasn't the only one who felt that way. Suffice it to say he still hired and promoted women according to their skill set. And as for his niece all I can say is.....Shame on you.