Ok so I wrote my above comment to the original post really quickly and didn’t really think much about what I left out. I agree with you, Walt was not a man without faults. He was definitely very strict and difficult to please. That’s very true. But he was not anti-Semetic (there’s plenty of sources for that), and he was not as prejudiced against minorities as most people would like to believe. People tend to forget that that was what the world was like back then.
I just want to say that this is absolutely false. I’m not saying it’s an outright lie, but it contains many hurtful misconceptions. First, Walt Disney was not anti-Semetic. This is a common misconception because he was once honored with an award from an organization that was predominately anti-Semetic. This does not mean that Walt hated Jews. Rather, he was very accepting of everyone. Many of his close friends and family were and still are offended by these accusations. Second, Walt would not “only want you to be yourself if you’re white and middle class”. Walt actually grew up in a family that struggled for money in Chicago. He came to California with his entire life savings in his pocket, about $20. Why would he look down on poor people if he grew up understanding what it’s like to not have enough money? Also, Walt was born in Chicago in 1901 to an Irish father and a German mother. I pride myself on knowing a lot about Chicago history, and I can tell you for a fact that minorities in Chicago in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s had a very poor standard of living. Most of them were immigrants and so they got all the jobs no one wanted to do. We can assume that Walt’s early life was very likely filled with him being looked down upon for being a minority. Like I said before, why would Walt look down on minorities when he himself knows how that feels? Third, Walt did not choose Anaheim as the location for Disneyland because there was an excess of minorities living there. Walt originally imagined Disneyland as a small carnival-like area next to the Burbank studios where Disney employees could take their children on the weekend. When he realized that this area would be too small, he hired a consultant who suggested that he purchase land in Anaheim because there was a lot of land and it was very cheap. Everything you are saying is very rude and offensive, and I’d encourage you to check your sources before slandering another person.
Unless you are poor, brown, female, Jewish, or gay.
I’m not gonna tag this Disney cuz that’s rude, but I’m not into the Walt Disney worship I see here on Tumblr, or in real life. The man was a racist and sexist bigot who designed Disney Land as a tribute to a pastoral version of America that never existed. He placed it in Anaheim, where minorities who were too poor and marginalized in Southern California to, by and large, afford cars could not get to it, and instructed admissions employees to discourage them from coming. He refused to hire black or brown people except one woman who was forced to perform in near-minstrel capacity as Aunt Jemima in the Aunt Jemima Pancake House on Orleans Street. He also was a public supporter of some of the most vile anti-Semites in America.
You can talk about modern Disney and all the progress its made from these frankly nauseating beginnings, but holding Walt Disney up as some champion of individuality, self-expression, and self-esteem is a damn lie. He only wanted you to be yourself if you were white and middle class.
Okay both things are really stupid, but I’ll just be completely frank. Walt is worth admiring for things he was, an entrepenuer, a dreamer, an innovator, he thought everything deserved a try and if he failed he tried again; this why he’s a great inspiration for me. Yeah Walt had it tough growing up and he had it tough getting his own studio, no one believed in full feature animated film, no one believed in Disneyland, he would go broke they said. But he did it, he was a risk taker. He gambled and he lived, that’s why I love Walt so damn much. He took great chances and followed his dream, I swear to God he followed every single dream,aspiration, he had. That’s why Walt is worth admiring.
Guys, PEOPLE ON TUMBLR, he was NOT THIS PERFECT MAN WITH THIS WARM CARING GRANDPA QUALITY TO HIM. BOTH TAKES ABOVE OF HIM ARE WRONG. He was caring and kind to his family, he had charm and was extremely energetic and inventive,yes. But was a very,very harsh and demanding boss who rarely offer praise. He was extremely conservative and stuck to strict family values (he came from a very strict father). I do not believe he was anti-sematic BECAUSE NO SUCH INFORMATION OR PIECE OF ACTUAL EVIDENCE EXISTS.
Walt clearly did reflect the values of the American people of the time, you can see it in his Disney movies. Sexism,racism, homophobia, yeah all that’s there, I do frankly see Walt sharing some of these believes. Does this make him a bad person? No, most white people born into a white family in 1900s probably had some same believes. Was he a racist bigot who wanted all the fags and jews to burn in hell? Uhm,no.
Walt was human. He had flaws and those can be seen and examined carefully in his movie. You can also see his virtues in his movies, he’s love for creativity,dreaming, detail and stories comes afloat. I love Walt with all my heart and I’m admire him deeply. However, I will never deny that he had problematic views and that’s why Disney is problematic. Praising or condemning him is not helpful. He’s like any other historical figure, problematic and unlikely perfect.
It’s your choice whether you love Walt or hate him, either is fine with me. But you cannot deny that whatever you think about him, one thing is that he left an imprint on this world that can never be erased.