Walt Disney Woke, "The wokest place on Earth"

Originally published at: Walt Disney Woke, "The wokest place on Earth" | Boing Boing




Not that regulars need the context. But for context:


The gag about Disney’s ghost cut deep! :smiling_imp:


But wasn’t he a literal Nazi? Seems pretty on brand for him to be a MAGA supporter.


Uh, no. He was very conservative and some have argued quite anti-Semitic (haven’t pursued this, so no idea how accurate this is) but he never joined any Nazi or even Nazi-adjacent organizations that I’m aware of.


I only have Wikipedia to go by, and it doesn’t level that accusation, but does note his works have racist and imperialistic elements, and that he was accused of antisemitism. Wikipedia also notes:

Disney donated regularly to Jewish charities, he was named “1955 Man of the Year” by the B’nai B’rith chapter in Beverly Hills

My guess is that he “gave audiences what the wanted”, which at times included racist, misogynistic, and bigoted imagery, which is what makes the cut so deep: he would transform his parks and crank out “woke” media in a heartbeat if he thought it would squeeze a few more pennies from his customers.


Racist imperialism was very on brand for all of mainstream america that Disney ever knew. Don’t have to even be conservative for that.


Disney certainly wasn’t what I’d call a “progressive” and a lot of Disney stuff was racist but not unusually so for its time (which really just shows how racist American society was).

He was a big figure in Hollywood’s conservative Red-Scare backlash against labor unions and “communists” though. He never forgave his animators from going on strike in 1941 and later testified before the House of Un-American Activities Committee in 1947, helping get several people blacklisted from the industry.


I’m like 95% sure that Professor Ludwig von Drake immigrated to the United States as part of Operation Paperclip though.



Walt Disney was not a Nazi, and Family Guy is not a documentary.


I think it’s interesting how Disney, through their TV show, was quite open about how much the US space program relied on ex-Nazi scientists.


As an example I’m sure that Warner Brothers would be happy if everyone just completely forgot about their extremely racist parody of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, which they released in 1943. The rest of the “censored eleven” WB films are pretty bad as well.


Man, I don’t know. Simply googling his name an ‘nazi’ returns a lot of articles which speak to his attending Nazi party meetings in the US. He hosted the Nazi filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl a month after Kristallnacht. I’m just summarizing from this article. I don’t know the quality of that site, it could be utter rubbish. Nothing as damning as a photo of him saluting or wearing a swastica, but articles like this don’t paint a picture that contradicts the charge.

So, maybe not an actual Nazi, but he was close with them and did a lot to support their cause.

He might just be the kind to sell out to whomever pays the most–blowing whichever way the wind takes him. I don’t know, but it does seems to be a defendable thesis.

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Walt was definitely not a Nazi or anti-Semite. What he was, though, was passively indifferent to politics in the 1930s - because he was literally working himself into a heart attack - and only World War II and the artist strike gave him any sheen of political sensibilities.

You can only understand him as a man entirely consumed by trying to please a dad who didn’t love him. He simply had no political consciousness, it would’ve distracted from his energies.

That being said, Walt would 100% support the idea that WDW would shove whatever words they wanted in his animatronic ghost if it got people to come check it out.

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I couldn’t even call that from that. I -do- need to write show tunes about optioning a Jewish Princess now (like maybe not to Disney per se, and there have to be 5 songs about ARR…, 3 DEO maybe with a bridge,) so thanks for that all over again.

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When fascists start kicking down your front door you realise that the difference is minor at most. If someone decides that they can live with fascism then they have also decided they can live without the victims of fascism. It’s literally how Martin Niemöller started out, and he had to live with the consequences of his inaction and passive support of fascism for the rest of his life.


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