I was struck by the fact that Walt Disney testified and named people in front on the House Commitee on Un-American Activities , during the McCarthy era. I found a transcript of the hearing online. (It is definitely worth reading, just to see how many times Disney can refer to the artists working at his studio as "my boys".)
The following bit is Disney's response to whether he has allowed any propaganda in his movies besides the ones produced during WWII that were anti-Hitler and antifascist:
"We watch so that nothing gets into the films that wouldAhahahah! Try harder...
be harmful in any way to any group or any country. We have large
audiences of children and different groups, and we try to keep them as
free from anything that would offend anybody as possible. We work hard
to see that nothing of that sort creeps in."
Any racist imagery comes to mind? (The jungle book?) In later movies: Native Americans (Pocahontas)? Chinese people and traditions (Mulan)? Women, while we are at it? The gay community? Etc.
While I understand that all the Disney movies (as all art) are products of their times, I found Disney's claim to be rather ironic.
Posted by Eszter