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Meryl Streep's Comments Belie More Than Ignorance of Walt Disney

by Charles Kenny
January 15, 2014 2:01 AM
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The now-infamous comments by Meryl Streep last Tuesday at the National Board of Review regarding Walt Disney set in motion a flurry of corrections from esteemed sources such as Floyd Norman, who knew Walt personally.

It matters not whether Streep (pictured above, from the forthcoming Disney release Into The Woods) felt correct in accusing a dead man of things that have long been disproven, rather, it displays a shocking aversion to simple fact-checking that anybody familiar with Google can perform. 

This is regrettably an all-too-common fact of life when it comes to animation; simple fact-checking is ignored in a way that seems to suggest a blasé attitude to a legitimate artistic technique.

How often is the latest DreamWorks film casually mentioned in the press as a Pixar film? How quickly are cartoons lambasted for content that is openly tolerated and accepted in live-action?

It almost seems that plenty of people simply couldn't be bothered to do their homework when it comes to animation. Does the industry truly face the challenge of fighting ambivalence?

In a way it does. Animation is an industry that's small and close-knit. People within it and with an interest in it are knowledgeable, but those on the outside are not, and far too prone to simply making assumptions. Live-action is large enough to support a level of general knowledge within the population. Animation is not, and it suffers because of it.

This is why Streep's comments are so infuriating; they highlight, yet again, that animation and the people within it aren't held to the the same standards as others in the entertainment industry.

Charles Kenny writes prolifically on his own blog, The Animation Anomaly.

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More: Walt Disney, Meryl Streep


  • ITTY UP | January 18, 2014 9:28 AMReply

    "And Hollywood has ALWAYS hated Walt Disney,
    and in my next film I'm going to show you WHY.
    Stanley Kubrick always told people,
    ---------------WALT DISNEY was the ONLY real artist Hollywood ever produced."
    Jeff Rense radio
    Jan. 09, 2014

    SO much for the 'on board' STREEP,
    ------------and creatively bankrupt,
    ----------------------Globalist franchise slum MAFIA run,
    -----------------EUGENICS agenda promoting, Hollywood generally.

  • Jenny | January 17, 2014 5:09 PMReply

    Oh screw you, Meryl Streep cited letters and anecdotes from people who knew Disney personally. I don't know what fact-checking you are talking about, but it seems you are the one who needs to do some fact checking before writing posts like this.

  • Ryan | January 19, 2014 1:16 PM

    Oh dear Jenny, what sort of world do you live in that simply because a famous person said something ill-advised you believe it to be true.

    Here's a couple of quick facts for you : it's true that in 1938 women were excluded from the more technical and skill-based jobs at the Disney studio, but that's also true of pretty much Hollywood as a whole, and industry as a whole in America at the time.

    It's also true that by the 40s Disney had many female artists and animators, and by the 50s people such as Mary Blair were thriving at the company and were the driving force behind many of the animated pictures of that decade.

    Shouldn't you be questioning both why you believe someone to be 'right' simply by virtue of their transient fame, whilst someone who is passionate and informed about the medium in question must be wrong? Because they don't have the magic pixie dust of fame which imparts eternal knowledge, right?

    Shouldn't you also question why said famous person feels the need to air their misconceptions in public, whilst awarding someone else for a performance - and there by undermining a fellow female artiste in a situation that should be celebrating them?

    And further more, if this person has such strong ideals about said deceased person, why then do they feel it fine to cash the checks of the company that bears his name, rather than refuse to work for them, or at least give the considerable cash sum she has no doubt received to a worthy cause to help people who are suffering from the very things in the present day that she has retroactively attributed to a person who has already been exonerated of the accusations.

    Or maybe you'd just like to join her in a trip to the freezer where they keep him and dig ol'Disney up, cos' if Family Guy said he's a racist, misogynistic bigot then he's gotta be right? Don't need to do any research yourself - do you? Famous person said it, and all famous people are right 100% of the time.

  • Kevin | January 15, 2014 6:10 PMReply

    Then, why not include some of these facts in your short post? It's so easy to prove her wrong because they can easily be found with a Google search and yet you leave it at that.

    Meryl Streep is wrong because I say so. She upset me. And I think there's stuff that is accepted as true on the internet that will show I am right but I don't know what exactly. That is what this post is essentially.

  • joeyjojo | January 16, 2014 3:48 PM

    Charles - the article to which you linked does not actually dispute the factual content of what Streep said. It merely offers evidence for the other side of the ledger. If you have a link to disprove either of the accusations -- the specific sexist quote or his membership in an antisemetic lobbying group -- you should offer it, otherwise Kevin is 100% correct.

  • Charles Kenny | January 15, 2014 7:31 PM

    To be fair, I felt it was unnecessary to counter her arguments here as Floyd Norman already does an excellent job in his post that I linked to.

  • Terrence | January 15, 2014 4:46 PMReply

    This isn't about animation. I'm not sure why Streep's outrage is any more egregious than any other meme propagation. It's not about animation; it's about perpetrating half-truths. It happens every day on the Internet.

    Attacking Disney isn't any worse than attacking any other public figure, based on half-truths. Chris Rock's comments about voice acting were far more disdainful of this art form than anything Streep said.

  • mark trost | January 15, 2014 4:13 AMReply

    Now you know how anyone on the right feeels everyday.

  • cg | January 15, 2014 11:12 AM

    Amen, brother.

  • No | January 15, 2014 9:24 AM

    Unfortunately, this doesn't hold true for the political right or left. However, you would stand a better chance of making your case if you showed an example. If not, then you lend yourself to traditional American whining.

  • ÖH | January 15, 2014 3:59 AMReply

    "Animation is an industry that's small and close-knit. People within it and with an interest in it are knowledgeable, but those on the outside are not, and far too prone to simply making assumptions. Live-action is large enough to support a level of general knowledge within the population. Animation is not, and it suffers because of it."

    I completely disagree with this assessment. The percentage of talentless hacks making animated films is the same percentage of talentless hacks making live-action films. Animation production teams don't beam in from some distant Talent Planet, far removed from the gene pool and societal influences of knuckle dragging live-action production teams. You don't have to be directly involved in making a film of either variety to know when something stinks, although the percentage of outsiders who are unable to tell the difference between a fresh, stimulating concept and recycled hack work will naturally be higher than the percentage of outsiders who are able to tell the difference. The animation industry doesn't suffer because it is misunderstood, it suffers because there are many frustrated, talented people making sub par committee films.

    Perhaps like many celebrities, Streep is a closet communist and that's why she feels persecuted by Disney.

  • Luis | January 15, 2014 3:54 AMReply

    This article is pretty correct and the first comment is a terrible joke presumably by a terrible person.

  • Butt! | January 15, 2014 2:58 AMReply

    Yeah, but she's a famous three time oscar winning woman who knows everything, so STFU. JK.

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