The legend that is Meryl Streep, 64, took to the podium at the National Review Board dinner to honor Emma Thompson on January 7. Although she did pay tribute to her friend, she also spend much of her nine minute speech talking some serious smack about Disney found Walt Disney, reports Variety.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Streep Won’t Be Going to ‘Saving Mr. Banks’
Streep apparently took issue with the portrayal of Walt Disney in the upcoming Tom Hanks’ movie Saving Mr. Banks. It had been rumored that Streep was in the running for the role of Mary Poppins creator P.L. Travers, but now it may be clear why she’s not starring in it.
2. Streep First Took Aim at Sexism
Quoting former Disney animator Ward Kimball, Streep said that Walt Disney, “didn’t trust women or cats.” Streep added, “some of his associates reported that Walt Disney didn’t really like women.”
3. According to Streep, Disney Was an Anti-Semite
She added that Disney “supported an anti-Semitic industry lobbying group.” She then returned to Disney’s alleged misogynistic streak by saying he was a “gender bigot.” She alleged that in 1938 when a female animator applied for a job with Disney, Walt replied with: “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.”
4. There Was Time For Some Compliments
Streep did find the time to pay tribute to Thompson. She called the British actor “practically a saint” and that she’s a “beautiful artist.” Then Thompson took to the stage, she made reference to the weather (the dinner was held in New York City), she said that cold weather made her grateful for menopause.
5. Allegations of Anti-Semitism Have Always Followed Walt Disney
Neal Gabler, a biographer of Walt Disney, said in an LA Times article that although it’s proven that Disney was anti-union and anti-communist, “There is no evidence whatsoever in the extensive Disney Archives of any anti-Semitic remarks or actions by Walt.” He also notes that many high-ranking members of Disney’s creative team were Jewish, including the head of the model department, Joe Grant.
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