Monday, November 30, 2009

Walt Disney the Racist?

Since I had a little time at hand, I thought I'd dig a bit in this issue which seems to come up every once in a while (f.e. in Simpsons or Family Guy). Is Walt Disney really Racist?

I found these two links to be illustrative of the different approaches and arguments from pro- and contra-groups.
The pro group argues like this. They evaluate the movies for stereotypical clichés of blacks or other minorities. They take offense at everything while dismissing the overall plot, themes and lessons. They think that Walt Disney's racial preferences came to light in his subtle uses of racially non-white people.

On the other side, we have people who say that albeit movies are a product of its time, let's investigate Mr. Disney's attitude in real-life. I find this all the more illustrative, because it shows a totally different man who is more in sync with the major themes in his movies (pro-animal lives, pro-peace, pro-love for every species). Of course, we have only anecdotal evidence from recountings of his lives aquaintainces, but in the study of a man's character this is most illustrative. And since he is not available for comments, I find this to be the best way to know what the maestro behaved and thought. It usually reflects in how you treat your neighbours and friends.

At least for me, this settles the whole issue, because I think the "unplugging" of all movies and tiny aspects is like so many garbage of the internet made by people with too much time at hand and who tend to lose the big picture for rather small details. Are some of the depictions controversal in the nowadays over-PCed times? Yes, especially the Songs of the South movie is very bad in not depicting the slavery of the South. BUT is this truly necessary in a children movie, or is it any indication for racism? I doubt it. The rest is only interpretative evidence of the lowest kind. Bending everything backward twice to come to a overly racial conclusion.

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