disney-jew-p disney-jew-p

Why Kids Today Think Disney was a Jew-Hating, Hitler-Loving Racist

Walt Disney and Jews

The “Walt Disney hated Jews and blacks” accusation is one of the most vile mistruths tossed around about the old man, yet a quick browse on-line suggests that more young people believe it today than ever before. How did this happen? Why is the single fact that kids know about this 20th century entertainment giant a shopworn charge, long ago disproven, that he was anti-Semitic and/or racist?

I began to understand the situation more clearly after spending some time exploring Yahoo! Answers, which contains dozens of questions about Walt’s beliefs. The questions don’t stem from Marc Eliot’s notorious hack job Walt Disney: Hollywood’s Dark Prince–remember, nobody reads anymore–but rather from pop culture references, particularly animated shows like Family Guy and Robot Chicken.

Writers of these shows, who can rarely be relied upon to come up with clever or original humor, recycle a playbook of dated pop culture references, among them that Walt hated Jews and that he’s frozen. Family Guy writers are so enamored of the anti-Semitic charges, that they’ve made the accusation multiple times, including this instance:

Combine the endemic laziness of animation writers with an every-child-left-behind educational system that has created a legion of TV viewers who can’t recognize that they’re being duped by old hearsay instead of being revealed new truths, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.

I dropped by the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco last year and it was one of the most well curated and delightful museums I’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting. The museum achieves its aims of documenting Disney’s vast achievements and then some. The reality though is that most teenagers will never visit the museum. To address the rampant distortions about Walt, the Disney family and company must expand their on-line presence and make an effort to combat the inaccuracies with relevant information about Walt Disney’s life, history and legacy.

I’m sure the Walt Disney Company has plenty of employees already who manage their brand on-line and actively communicate with fans on the Internet. But seeing as how their company’s success is so indelibly tied to a single name, it would behoove them to also have a full-time employee or two dedicated to managing their founder’s reputation lest these lies are repeated often enough to be accepted as truth.

The problem of TV writers spreading disinformation about Walt is so widespread that even former Disney stars are perpetuating the stories. For example, take this appearance by Zac Efron on Saturday Night Live. Walt Disney appears in the skit, and along with him, the two stock Walt gags: he’s anti-Semitic and he’s frozen.

I’ve collected some of the most representative questions and answers from Yahoo! Answers that show the scope of the perception problem for Disney.

After analyzing all of the related Walt Disney questions on Yahoo, the most common sources of Walt’s contemporary character assassination can be traced to jokes on Family Guy and Robot Chicken, resulting in questions like this one:
Walt Disney and Jews

Or this one:
Walt Disney and Jews

Walt has defenders but the reasons are often as misinformed as the questions.
Walt Disney and Jews

Here’s a defense from a “Disney historian, sort of!”
Walt Disney and Jews

This Jewish girl is disappointed to learn that Walt, in fact, hated her.
Walt Disney and Jews

Of course, he wasn’t just an anti-Semite, he was also “pro-white and hated people who weren’t.”
Walt Disney and Jews

Thankfully, watching Disney cartoons is ok since “It’s not like you’re funding some Jew-killing operation.”
Walt Disney and Jews

Oh, Family Guy writers, what clever comedy material will you come up with next? Perhaps a timely Hitler joke.
Walt Disney and Jews

Saturday Night Live writers aren’t much better.
Walt Disney and Jews

According to this person, supporting Walt Disney’s work is equivalent to supporting a media empire run by Osama bin Laden.
Walt Disney and Jews

Walt won’t even leave Jews alone when they’re in the bathroom. This Yahoo commenter has a bright future ahead of him as a TV animation writer.
Walt Disney and Jews

Frankly, Google’s Autofill isn’t much help in the matter either.
Walt Disney and Jews

And yes, finally, some sanity.
Walt Disney and Jews

UPDATE: A shameful example of misinformation can be found in this recent piece about Roald Dahl. In it, the misinformed author Alex Carnevale repeats the old canard about Walt’s feelings towards Jews:

[Dahl’s] interest in writing, combined with his ludicrous tales of his wartime experience, quickly led him to Hollywood, where he immediately had much in common (appetite for clandestine inappropriate sex, hatred of Jews) with the Disney brothers. Walt Disney gave him the use of a car and put him up at the Beverly Hills Hotel!

  • Mike Russo

    It’s funny how everyone blasts Family Guy for doing jokes like this but conveniently ignores the fact that the Simpsons was also doing this back when the show was actually good and the last thing one would accuse the writers of was being lazy.

    • amid

      Mike – As far as I’m aware, “The Simpsons” have never made a “Walt Disney is anti-Semitic” joke. It’s been implied through proxy characters like Roger Meyers Sr. but that type of satire is different from the irresponsible defamation of a real human being.

      • Donald C

        Actually, I recall them having one episode where they portrayed a Disney parody as being a closet Nazi.

        Otherwise they just call the cooperation evil. Family guy tends to go for the throat much more often however, having the “voice of reason” character outright stating Disney was anti-semetic.

      • Mike!

        Yeah, in the Itchy & Scratchy Land episode, in a film on Roger Meyers Sr.’s legacy, he was claimed to be beloved by all, but criticized for his short film “Nazi Supermen Are Our Superiors.” Though since the joke is so over the top, I always thought of it as a play on the anti-semetism rumors.

      • Stephan

        “Three people had the evil gene. Adolf Hitler had it. Walt Disney had it. And Freddy Quimby has it!”
        -Dr. Hibbert, “The Boy Who Knew Too Much”

      • J.M.Urbina

        Simpsons had more class, than Family guy.
        that being said…

        It´s always smart to do a ¨hidden¨reference like Roger Meyer Sr. Instead of constantly using the name of Disney , Disney, Disney to bust it.

        The very stupid Chicken Robot episode in which Disney likes to eat cuban children and travels to cuba in which they play mexican music and cubans speak with that generic speedy gonzalez’like accent was actually the reason why I stopped watching that damn show.


      • Chris Sobieniak

        I kinda blame shows like these for giving people the wrong impression of Soviet Bloc animation as well, but that’s just a quirk of mine.

    • Trevor

      Also, thanks Amid for posting this. I know a handful of people even in the animation industry that believes all this anti-semitic Disney stuff.

  • Vineet

    I remember watching bits of a documentary bashing the man Disney.
    The surprising part was the choice things that Bill Melendez had to say about him.
    Not pretty at all. I guess heroes are built so they can get torn down.

    • What did Melendez say? Nothing thatlends credibility to this stuff, I hope…

    • Rose

      I’ve seen that documentary. You’re right, Melendez does tear him down, along with a Jewish woman. Poor Disney, they probably sucked up to him their whole lives and can say that now that he can’t defend himself.

  • Silence Dogood

    Holy cow. That is a really sad reflection on mainstream young adult culture.

  • kids are dumb (or ‘mainstream adult culture’ is illinformed). When we were kids we were all this dumb. the internet provides a great common ground for viewing exactly how dumb they are. look on any forum and find questions like ‘I am thinking of becoming an animator, what should i do?’. It is strange that with less information at the click of a button i was just as shallow as these kids with access to every piece of information under the sun. The only conclusion is that kids are dumb

    It was always the same… only the names of changed

    • Caty

      You mean that parents are dumb.

    • plastic bottle

      No, not all kids are dumb. What an ignorant thing to say. There are smart people and dumb people of all ages. By the way, how do you know those people are kids anyway?

      • of course not all kids are dumb, not all horses have four legs but if i had to make a call I would say ‘horses have 4 legs’

      • Josef

        I think you are confusing ignorance with dumbness. It’s ignorant to call someone dumb because they don’t know something they haven’t been taught.

        It would be correct to say most kids are ignorant, because the are lacking in knowledge or training.

      • It would be correct to say my comment was off the cuff somewhat. Why do people on the internettles think they are writing/ evaluating legal documents?

        dumb, ignorant, stupid, numb as a bike pump, demic, dullard, herbert, teapot, thick as a brick, pillock… they all mean pretty much the same thing

      • Josef

        I know it can be confusing, but ignorant means untrained, while dumb means lacking ordinary quickness and keenness of mind. They mean two different things. I just thought I would help you in case you want to make this point again to someone else, because it’s very ironic. That’s all.


      • craig

        Just stop. Kids are friggin’ dumb. stop being bitpicky

      • Knock knock

        I’d like you to tell that to the 9 year old who graduated from college. I mean kids are dumb right? So he should be willing to give you a listen. I should also invite that kid that was around six and was elected governor for a day due to his knowledge of political stances and problems. I mean why would dumb kids like them disagree with you?

        This is why the word ignorance is used. Because kids can be just as if not smarter than most adults, this is a fact anyone with common knowledge should have.

        Saying “Kids are dumb” is like saying “They don’t know things i haven’t taught, so they’re dumb” which is pretty much saying “This art student hasn’t learned advanced quantum physics, so he’s dumb” A person can’t be dumb if they haven’t been taught something. It also makes the adult generation look worse because it’s up to the previous generation to bring the current one up to par.

      • Wow really

        Again, stop nitpicking. Kids as a whole are stupid IN COMPARISON to adults as a whole. They are “dumb” not because they lack knowledge, but because their brains are not fully developed. They don’t think at the level adults as a whole, do. Adult humans have the highest level of thought on the planet. But dogs and cats have higher levels of thought than an infant human. Intelligence comes in stages.
        You can’t compare the intelligence of that 9 or 6 year old to normal adults, and say THEY are proof kids are smart. Those kids are not the average, or whole, that represents humanity. Comparing them to the average is like comparing every black person in a gang to the average of black people, and concluding from it that all black people are bad. It doesn’t work like that. If you want to compare those kids intelligence, you need to compare them to brilliant adult minds. And what happens when you do that? You’ll find that the brilliant adults think at MUCH higher levels than the brilliant kids.
        In conclusion, kids are NOT as smart as adults, ever. Therefore, it’s not some horrible crime for people to think they are “Stupid”. It’s just a word, it’s not mean. When people say “Kids are idiots.” they mean it as in kids think and do stupid things because they are not smart enough to realize what they’re doing. And they’re NOT. Kids don’t even understand the concept of death until they’re 7-8. And that’s not because they weren’t taught it, their brains simply do not understand it. That’s stupidity, NOT ignorance. And overall kids are stupid in comparison to adults. Get over it.

  • Doesn’t Family Guy have a hand full of anti-semitic episodes that fox refuses to air? Seems a little odd they’d make so many Walt jokes when they have to release “unrated” seasons on DVD because it’s too offensive for TV.

    I personally love Hollywood’s Dark Prince because it’s so ridiculous. I can’t believe kids would say that Wikipedia cannot be trusted but ask yahoo questions based on episodes of Robot Chicken….

    • Carina

      About Wikipedia — though it’s frustrating to read the kid’s comment, to be fair I can see how many kids might come to distrust Wikipedia. Students are told over and over in most English classes they CANNOT cite Wikipedia as a source in any of their essays and in my experience, the most common reason teachers give is because “anyone can edit it”. Thus, they may conclude “Wikipedia is not trustworthy”. (However, I’m guessing the reliability of information portrayed in “Robot Chicken” comes up much less in class… *sigh* at least the kid sensed something wrong enough in the portrayal of Walt Disney to go out and investigate “the truth”. But, seriously, from Yahoo Answers?! Pretty sad…)

  • They’re asking questions on Yahoo! for chrissakes. Do you really think they have the cop-on to head down to their local library and read the book? Are they even attempting to seek out the answers by themselves and draw up their own conclusions based on a comprehensive review of the facts?

    No. They’re idiots asking other idiots whether the world is flat.

    If you go with the flow, you wind up in the sewer.

  • 2011 Teenager

    1.) Shows like Family Guy and SNL are irreverent by nature and all continue the tradition of slamming celebrities, even when they know very well the rumors are false.

    2.) Walt Disney is one of the most famous people in the world. The most famous people in the world also have the biggest body of hatedom.

    Now as for the online cases, I will need to check myself. But that’s good research anyway.

  • The Kids

    Incredible Yahoo Answers based research! But you missed out 4chan?

  • People are mistaking a general historical attitude with a well-known icon. I say people because you can be damn sure adults make this mistake as well (adults are the ones writing these shows, after all, and you can’t tell the ages of the Yahoo posters.) It seems more or less that it might have been a one-off joke that got out of hand. I think the question isn’t why Family Guy/Robot Chicken keeps making this joke, but where it came from in the first place.

    Also, it isn’t as if these people are 100% sure of the connection. They just keep asking if there is one. In fact, the first poster there said he couldn’t find a connection for his presentation; which only seems to me that said person just sucks at research and reasoning.

    My Disney information is hazy. I forget: did he name names during the McCarthy hearings? I want to say the rumor was triggered by that event but I’m not 100% sure on that one.

    • James Lutz

      It is my understanding that Pro-union organizers of the day started these rumors in attempts to help break down some of the influence/control he had over the studios.
      As far as his involvement in the HUAC trials. http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/6458

  • How did I miss out on the cartoon short where Mickey is depicted as a Nazi? I do remember “Der Fuehrer’s Face” with Donald and you’d be surprised at the e-mail I get from people who’ve only seen the first part (or, more likely, have only heard about the first part) and haven’t seen the ending where it was all a terrible nightmare.

    And another answer said that Disney developed his anti-semitism while in the Army. He was never in the Army. He was too young to get in and faked his age to get into the Red Cross Ambulance Corp.

    I participate in another forum where the motto is “Fighting Ignorance Since 1973: It’s Taking a Lot Longer That We Thought.” Apparently the fight against ignorance never ends.

    • purin

      I showed that Glen Beck Donald Duck thing to my roomie and when she saw the Nazi clip she was like “Oh my God, did they really make that?!”

      And it took me a little bit to realize she didn’t know about the propaganda films and thought it was pro-Nazi.

      • Mark

        I can’t imagine how anyone can watch more than two seconds of Der Fuehrer’s Face and not realize it’s viciously anti-Nazi/Axis. Yes, it’s a little shocking to see Donald in a Nazi uniform seig hailing to photos of Hitler, Mussolini, and Hirohito, but even those pictures are such obvious (semi-racist) caricatures, that I can’t believe anyone could see it and not understand the point.

      • You’ve never leaped like a gazelle to a wrong conclusion? Alright, now imagine how many more leaps you would have made with even 20% less brainpower…

      • purin

        Well, the clip used WAS under 2 seconds…

      • Funkybat

        Sadly, I can easily imagine some people, especially these days, seeing clips or even a portion of “Der Fuhrer’s Face” and thinking it is some kind of pro-Nazi cartoon. People often jump to conclusions, based on emotional reaction, when presented with images that are powerfully polarizing. People see a swastika or a cartoon of a guy in a turban, and their higher reasoning can go offline. Anyone who sits through the entire short Disney made will doubtlessly conclude that it was meant to mock the Nazis, but some might *still* wonder if it was some kind of “he doth protest too much” sign of secret interest/obsession with the Nazis. I didn’t say people’s conclusions always make sense, even with their “higher reasoning” intact. That comes down to the difference of stupidity vs. ignorance. Sadly, there is plenty of both out there in various forms.

        To most people under 30 today, WWII might as well be The US Civil War, it was “so long ago.” Most young people’s grandparents were born after the war ended. Those of us who grew up with people who lived through those times are not going to be the majority for long, and the people who did live through it are dying out.

        It’s important that history, including the history of Disney (the company and the man) be transmitted accurately to future generations. Crass satirical cartoons seem to be a lot more influential on some people’s ideas about truth vs. rumor (or pure fiction) than they should be. Notice that no one seems to go out of their way to satirize Disney’s anti-union, right-of-center politics, which unlike the the talk of Jews and cryostasis, is actually an uncontested fact. It’s probably more fun to say stuff that’s more religion or race-oriented, even if it’s largely baseless.

        BTW, where DID the rumors about Walt being frozen originate? I didn’t think practical cryogenics even existed in the mid 60s!

  • Jason R.

    Just recently I had an otherwise bright college student inform me that Walt Disney was anti-Semetic and a supporter of the Nazi party as evidenced by some scene in “The Lion King.” I asked her how she managed to draw that conclusion from a movie released nearly three decades after the man’s death.

    She proceeded to inform me that EVERYBODY knows that Walt Disney left a plan for how his company should be run for numerous decades after his death, including a detailed list of films that should be released each year and hundreds of scripts with scene-by-scene instructions for future animators.

    I politely smiled and told her that if EVERYBODY knows it, then who am I, a person who has studied Walt Disney and the Disney company for the past 15 years, to say otherwise?

    • Look at those screen caps of the various questions. Those are years old and and the “winning” answer may have gotten three votes.

      Walt Disney as anti-semite just isn’t a burning topic of conversation among today’s kids most of whom have only the foggiest notions of Jews or Semites or Hitler or Disney anyway.

  • John

    You’ve got to go back to the studio politics of the 1940s and 1950s to find the seeds for this allegation, which becomes easy for people to promote the longer Disney has been dead. (In a similar vein, also based on political antipathy, did J. Edgar Hoover really wear a dress? Who knows? Who cares! It’s just fun to think of the former FBI chief in an evening gown, and since he’s been dead for almost 40 years, why bother finding out if it’s true or not? Same thing with the Disney anti-Semitism allegation; first put forward by people who had an axe to grind against Walt at the time he was still alive, now used as just a wacky story about an old dead guy by folks who don’t care if it’s false, because it strikes their funny bone and you can’t libel a dead person).

  • I think it’s funny because everyone knows it’s not true. Disney produced some of the best anti Nazi propaganda films ever. Education for Death among them.


    Understand that what Hitler did in resurrecting Germany’s economy after WW1 was pretty amazing and many CEO’s and leaders saw him as being a great leader. They had no knowledge of the things he was doing. This quote sums it up.

    ” In 1939 a lot of Americans voiced approval of Hitler. He was anti-Communist. And remember, we weren’t exactly buddy-buddy with England in those days. And contemporary views of the French were even worse. Numerous prominent Americans admired the new Germany under the Nazis, Charles Lindbergh for one. Even Congress didnt appreciate the Nazi threat. Forty-five years later, Cincinnati Reds owner Marge Schott, paradoxically very generous but egregiously politically incorrect, got into trouble by stating that Hitler was initially good for Germany.”

    Disney was a terrific guy and a great leader. Whatever flaws he had were common of a public at the time who had little education. Bob Clampett produced Coal Black based on common stereo types at the time but with no intention of singling out black people. White people in his films were just as stereotype goofy. We are handicapped by our limited knowledge of people and even in an age with massive media exposure like we have we still do it to minorities . Maybe it’s the most human trait we have. I choose to laugh at it because it’s not Disney I’m laughing at, it’s us.

    • Funkybat

      I think you raise some good points there, US public perception of the Nazi regime in the mid-30s is a lot different than post-1945. Most people over here had no idea that the Holocaust was going on until troops marched into the camps at the end of the war. Many of those soldiers were never the same after that. If Hitler and the Nazis were seen for what they were in 1936, the right to host the Olympic Games would surely have been pulled away from them by the IOC, or at the very least many prominent countries would have boycotted the Games. Instead, though plenty of people protested and complained, the US and many other nations went ahead and competed. (I guess the silver lining of that was having Jesse Owens win several gold medals, proving a black man could best “Aryan” athletes.)

      Suffice it to say that plenty of people in the US pre-WWII had varying levels of sympathy or support for Hitler and the Nazis, just as there were people here who supported Mao and Stalin before it became clear that they were monsters. History is often clearer in retrospect than as it is occurring.

      • Andrew A. Gill

        People knew the Holocaust was going on much earlier than 1945. From the Jewish Virtual Library, citing Yad Vashem, “On December 17, 1942, the Allies issued a proclamation condemning the “extermination” of the Jewish people in Europe and declared that they would punish the perpetrators. Notwithstanding this, it remains unclear to what extent Allied and neutral leaders understood the full import of their information. The utter shock of senior Allied commanders who liberated camps at the end of the war may indicate that this understanding was not complete.”

        I’m not sure what Disney believed, but it’s clear that he had some sort of pro-Nazi feelings, such as supporting the German American Bund, and screening Leni Riefestahl films (says The Straight Dope). Once things started heating up and the US declared war on Germany, of course, this changed.

      • cijfer

        The holocaust started in 1941, that’s 8 years after the Nazis came into power.
        So there was plenty of time to like the Nazis without knowing about the atrocities.

  • Donovan

    From his Wikipedia page: “‘But he got the reputation because, in the 1940s, he got himself allied with a group called the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals, which was an anti-Communist and anti-Semitic organization. And though Walt himself, in my estimation, was not anti-Semitic, nevertheless, he willingly allied himself with people who were anti-Semitic, and that reputation stuck. He was never really able to expunge it throughout his life.’ Disney ultimately distanced himself from the Motion Picture Alliance in the 1950s.”

    So it seems unfair to blame those “those kids today” or even their slightly older TV writers. Disney’s own contemporaries at the time thought he was anti-Semitic so the blame should shift to older generations, not younger. In fact, after reading the Wikipedia blurb, “vile mistruth” is an exaggeration. “Probably untrue” seems more accurate unless you have additional research not in the Wiki article.

    • Giovanni Jones

      “Disney’s contemporaries of the time…” is stated as if it is a known fact.

      Specifically, which contemporaries?

      Please read this. It’s written, not by someone who knows someone who heard something from a friend, nor by someone who “kind of” is a historian, but the genuine article;

      Peter Bart has a bit of ownership, at least in part, for some of the accusations. Disney legend Ward Kimball also was among those helped fuel the frozen rumor, as a joke.

      The problem lies in being intelligent enough to look beyond the funny jokes and rumors and check the facts. That takes time, effort and reading. You can’t just go onto a discussion board and ask “I’m doing a research paper, will some random person tell me what their friends told them or what they heard on a satiric comedy show?” Sadly, they stop at the rumor or half truth because the mainstream is all about fast answers, sound bites and easy decisions.

      Walt Disney the man lived in the first half of the 20th century. His memory may live forever, his name and products seem destined to do the same. There’s a price to all fame, and Walt seems to be paying it posthumously: he’s taking hits for what he did or did not do over half a century ago and it’s being interpreted in contemporary terms.

      If you’ve only read one book or one article about a person (or worse, heard a rumor or saw a blog or laughed at a joke about them), you haven’t learned as much as you should.

      Common sense.

  • Erin Siegel

    I’m a youngin’ and I heard the “Walt was anti-semetic and racist” line well before Family Guy’s existence. Never really put much stock into it since stuff as wacky as “his head is frozen in the disney vault!” is too crazy to be true without some factual evidence backing it up.
    However Disney’s questionable union practices were something I heard about for a while too and was elaborated on while in my Animation History class at college.

  • Some interesting points about Disney and Jews are cited in Mark Pinsky’s “The Gospel according to Disney.” (Which also cites “Hollywood’s Dark Prince” as a source…) Ward Kimball is quoted as saying “Walt was prone to remarks about Jews.” The best you could take away from this book regarding Disney’s supposed anti-semitism is praising by faint damnation.

  • It’s not just airheaded teens; I’ve had discussions with smart adult friends who “know” that Walt was an anti-semite and a racist.

  • Stefan Kamfer’s book “Serious Business” also went to great lengths to portray Disney as Anti-Semitic as well as completely incompetent in running his own company. He even tried to literally link early Disney films to the Axis.

    • Paul N

      I bought that book as a $1 remainder. I overpaid…

  • Jonathan Hohensee

    To a certain degree he wasn’t anti-Semitic, but the idea has really stuck in our culture because it does such a good job of contrasting Disney’s pretentions of “purity” with the realities of the racist/anti-Semitic/homophobic era he worked in.

    However, it is disingenuous to end the conversation with “he was not an anti-Semite”… the reality of the situation was that he wasn’t a hateful man, or would consciously hold people of other races/religions down, but he still wouldn’t think twice about using hateful cultural images as a part of his art. He still propagated cultural oppression, if only on an unconscious level, which is either better or worse than explicit racism, depending on your perspective.

    ///I remember a story in Bob Thomas’s Disney biography where Thomas tried to show how benevolent and progressive Disney was by giving this story where Disney hired back an employee who was arrested on homosexual-related charges because “Everybody makes mistakes.”

    • Scarabim

      Well, and what was wrong with that “everybody makes mistakes” attitude? The incident you’re referring to occured during the first half of the 20th century, no? In that context, Walt’s attitude was certainly progressive for his time.

      As for “hateful cultural images”, well, I do cringe when I see the Indian chief in “Peter Pan”. But does anyone really believe that such images were used to injure or insult? I don’t think Walt, his writers and animators meant any harm when they used such images. I look at it as a case of benign ignorance.

  • Honestly, if you use Yahoo Answers as a measure of the public’s knowledge on a subject, you’ll end up with the conclusion that everyone is clueless about everything. It’s like going to a McDonalds and polling the patrons to get an idea of how much Americans know about food.

  • sara

    I think some of that idea comes from some of the more racist aspects of old Disney cartoons. (And yeah, I’ll admit it, they do exist.) The problem with that idea is that it disregards the situation in the US at the time. If you look at most cartoons of that age, you’ll find some jaw-droppingly bad racist caricatures, etc. I’m not saying it was good, or right, but it was a product of the time, and it’s kind of weird that only ONE of…well, most people, unfortunately…is remembered for it.

  • FriendToAll

    Ever see the original version of the Three Little Pigs from 1933? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Olo923T2HQ4

    Pretty blatantly Anti-Semitic if you ask me.

    Plus every Jewish animator who worked for Uncle Walt from Friz Freleng to Art Babbitt to Joe Grant left the Mouse House on less-than-pleasant terms.

    • optimist

      Oh boy, here we go again.

      i guess you’ve never seen a Max Davidson short from the early 1930s…or listened to radio shows from that era, or watched “The Jazz Singer” or seen James Cagney speaking in yiddish in “Taxi” or any other Warner Bros programmer(news flash: the Warner Bros were jewish) or for that matter any everyday, contemporary comedies made for the masses, including jewish audiences, in 1933? Nope.

      As far as the peddler wolf in “Pigs” goes, I guess what was a schtick in 1933 wasn’t perceived as cool just a few years later, which is why they went to the trouble of completely altering the scene . It wasn’t meant to “offend”. It was later deemed tasteless and changed.

      As far as I know no jewish animator left Disney because of anti-semitism against them. Nothing bears that out at all.

      • Stephan

        He fired a bunch due to their Judaism, because he felt that they may be more likely to become communists which in the 1950’s he was afraid of. I read that in one of his biographies, not the Dark Prince one, can’t remember which.

      • Scarabim

        You’re as bad as MacFarlane if you can’t back up your claims. Accusing someone of being an anti-Semite is a grievous thing. I was watching “Walt: The Man Behind The Myth” last night, and the subject of anti-Semitism was brought up. Richard Sherman condemned the charge, as did Joe Grant and others who worked in the animation department. Plus, the B’nai Brith gave Walt an award, and that organization’s purpose is to fight against anti-Semitism. It did its research before giving Walt the award. I think I’d trust its word over some spurious comment made by an author with an axe to grind.

      • optimist

        “He fired a bunch due to their Judaism”: this is pure, unadulterated horseshit. In other words, untrue. I realize you think it’s true, but that isn’t evidence enough-read it a book somewhere, “can’t remember which”.

        Not trying to be snide, but this is a very serious, nasty charge to spread about a real, recently living person with still-living family members-never mind as regards his role as a producer,studio head and corporate icon.

    • skyman

      marc davis?

  • walt disney was afraid of mice? really? that sure puts a different and weird light on it. “-)

    • Scarabim

      Walt had actually had a pet mouse.

      • Kristjan Birnir

        Was the name of the pet mouse Mortimer?

  • Like Harry’s already stated, it’s not just kids today that think Walt hated Jews. When other students at my University heard that I was into animation they immediately started up with “You know Walt Disney hated the Jews right?”.The annoying thing is when you try and defend him they often see you as naive, as though you’re only defending him because he made some cartoons that you like. Next time someone tells me that ‘fact’ I’ll point-blank ask them what evidence they have.

  • At least we all know he wasn’t.

  • Family Guy and all these shows should admit a public apology.

    • Family Guy has a *very* long list of people and groups they owe apologies to for their slander and outright lies under the pretext of “humour” and “satire”.

  • I asked a Jewish designer who worked at Disney in the 1940’s about the rumors. He said they weren’t true. Simple as that.

    The level of writing in Family Guy is very low. They always go for the easy, dumb joke.

  • I’m pretty sure this isn’t the first time an urban legend was mistaken for reality. Hell, some people thought bansai kittens were real.

  • Amid this is one of the best topics you have brought up in a while. I get so burned on the Anti-Semitic rumors. Someone should write a book about it.

    Cryogenic Freezing. Everyone is choosing to not talk about this topic. I would love to hear how this rumor started. It’s been around since I was a little kid. I remember visiting Disneyland for the first time in the early 80’s and thinking He was there frozen somewhere.

  • Trevor

    To answer that one Yahoo question, no, Disney’s last words were not “DAMN JEWS” but actually “Kurt Russel”


  • Topher

    Some of things left behind in Walt Disney’s work like Peter Pan, Fantasia, Aristocats, Lady and the Tramp, and of course Song of the South shade it more gray than just “not racist”.

    Yes as a cartoonist, his job was to exaggerate, and this stuff was more a reflection of the attitudes of the time than any personal prejudice that he may have had. Yes he might have been on the progressive for a dude born at the turn of the century in the Midwest and he hired minority animators. Yes Family Guy and the like still deal in supposedly “ironic” racial humor in 2011.

    Still, it’s important to remember that racially insensitive stereotypes from 40+ years ago are still part of Disney’s legacy and are his responsibility and don’t help the case for Disney to a pair of 21st century eyes dealing with the work on it’s own. We should be educating people on historical context, and the literal dictionary definition of “racist” might be a step too far, but some of these things were ignorant and hurtful.

    And now, no matter how many caveats I added, here comes somebody to tell me that nobody minded them back then and people today are too PC or whatever nonsense.

    • Dr. Ivo Robotnik

      Wish I could like it again, especially for the last sentence.

  • I think the teens who don’t know much about Disney’s animation are way over their heads. As far as I know, Disney produced WWII cartoons with Nazi references in them. Most noticeable ones are “Education of Death: The making of a Nazi” and “Der Fuehrer’s face”(I do like the original title “Donald Duck In Nutzi land” over this title).

    Now I was aware of the whole “Walt hating Jews” thing before Family guy shoved it down our throats, like food that we didn’t want to eat anymore but were forced to eat it. I think Walt may have a bit of a dark side in disliking people, but I don’t think he hated Jews. Then again. Not everyone is a happy go lucky 24/7 happy guy. And those types of people are usually the ones with a dark secret that they don’t want to reveal. How long did the whole Walt being a pain to Jews begin before the teens got out of hand with the questions?

  • K

    I would not find it at all surprising if Walt was anti-Semitic and racist, just on the basis that pretty much all white people at the time were, even those who did not harbor fierce open resentment toward Jews or blacks. Many white Americans were sympathic toward Hitler’s anti-Jewish sentiments, even if they were dead-set against his regime itself. And of course this was during a time when a black person wasn’t even allowed to drink from the same water fountain as a white person.

    Was Walt Disney morally superior to other white people living in the same period as him? I doubt it.

    • Power_Animator

      DEAD ON!!

  • Toonio

    Like on the social network poster: “You Don’t Get To 500 Million Friends Without Making A Few Enemies”. This is all part of the process of building big business or simply being alive. You have to get the good with the bad, and move forward.

    Look at Steven Jobs and his emails to apple fans, or Mark Zuckerberg calling dumb f**cks those who trusted him just to name a few. Even when much of the statements against them might be wrong they made poor decision and have to deal with them for the rest of their lives. It’s their own battle not anybody else’s.

    All in all, is sadly fair. I don’t see why some have to defend the honor of a few when the rest is measured and condemned by the same invisible rules. Put simple and maybe oversimplified, everybody that comes out of jail should have the same chances to get a good job like everybody else, but is barely the case.

    The wrong statement at the wrong moment or being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Sorry guys but that’s life and like they say: nobody makes it out of it alive.

  • Craig Therrien

    I don’t think the writers of Family Guy or Robot Chicken are aiming for historical truth through a thorough examination of relevant research materials. It seems the rhetorical basis of this article assumes two things: 1) That these writers are presenting this information as truth and, 2) That they have an irrefutable duty to do so. While I agree that the Jewish jokes populating these shows are overly numerous and facile the fact remains these shows mine popular culture for their content and this misrepresentation of Disney has been culturally propagated for five decades. I don’t think the accuracy of the rumour is the point. This representation of Walt, although gauchely incorrect, is forever ingrained in our culture. That’s what is being represented in shows today. These writers may not be producing enduring works of comedy but they are reflecting general cultural conceptions. The accuracy does not matter. Besides, this rumour has never dissipated and is so ridiculous that, unlike the career of another high-profile anti-semite of late, it has not hurt the Disney company in the least.

    And I certainly don’t think a Yahoo forum search constitutes journalistic or editorial integrity, specifically when presenting a cross-section of youth —a demographic necessarily naive and less able to discern with healthy skepticism a pile of bullshit from truth. At least the teenagers who post on forums are trying to find the answer for themselves than ignorantly rely on Peter Griffin, as this article suggests, for their animation history education.

  • Ange

    This was starting to become a great essay – but then you stopped midway and only revealed what people are saying about Walt Disney. I’m a huge advocator of why Walt WAS NOT anti Semitic but I’ve always lacked real proof!

    If you’re going to get on a soap box and rant and rave, please, have the decency to back your argument up. That way, when fans who don’t have the facts and want to help get rid of rumors, they can.

    • you cant disprove a negative that’s absurd

      • Oluseyi

        Good thing nobody’s trying to “disprove a negative.”

        Affirmative: Walt Disney was anti-semitic.
        Negative: Walt Disney was NOT anti-semitic.

        Disproving the negative here would be refuting that Walt Disney was NOT anti-semitic. Ange is asking Amid to PROVE – or at least argue – the negative position, not because he disagrees but because he would like factual and rhetorical ammunition for doing so himself in the future.

  • Chris

    Family Guy and Robot Chicken making kids stupid and disgracing Walt’s name?

    Disney’s own products like the Jonas Brothers, Hannah Montana, Beverly Hills Chihuahua are FAR more effective at BOTH making kids stupid and disgracing Walt’s name. Let’s not play dumb people.

  • Yes, but you haven’t addressed the question of whether he was anti-semantic, like our friend Melissa says he was. I think the fact that Mickey didn’t speak for years is indeed a troubling sign of Disney’s hatred of language.

    The rest of these, lol.

  • Nhargi

    Oh, come on. Watching Disney cartoons doesn’t mean condoning Naziism any more than driving a Ford. And no Nazi-lover could have ever made “Education for Death” or “Victory Through Air Power” which today’s illiterates will never see or be curious about in the least. On the lighter side, Cary Grant dropped acid for years and once dreamed he was a giant penis being launched into space.

  • Isaac

    Late to the party. Anyway, this looks like Family-Guy-bashing under the guise of correcting a commonly held notion. Rich white men were racist back in those days. In that regard Walt is probably no different than his peers. If I wanted to read Yahoo Answers I’d go to Yahoo Answers, I expect a better kind of investigative reporting from Cartoon Brew.

  • Peter

    If you watch the Ub Iwerks documentary, you know that the only reason he and Ub made Mickey Mouse was because someone had stolen a big early character on him. I don’t think he hated Jews, but he probably learned to be more business savvy after that, Hollywood wasn’t in the business of making gentlemen’s agreements.

  • Count me in as another middle-aged guy who always “knew” Walt was a Jew-hating, misogynist, anti-beard control freak, even before I read “Hollywood’s Dark Prince.” Wayyyyy before Family Guy or Robot Chicken used it as gag fodder.

    If he was, he had plenty of company; it took the Nazis to make anti-semitism unfashionable. Just ask Charles Lindbergh.

    This piece could have used a little evidence to the contrary, instead of examples of twitter ignorance, but hey. More fun to make fun of those kids with their hair and their clothes, you know those kids today.

    • optimist

      First of all, your glib use of Charles Lindbergh is a silly sideline; he’s one man, and Disney’s another.

      Second-how do you prove a negative as in “No, he wasn’t anti-semitic”?

      And if you, a middle aged guy, “knew” it wayyyy before Dark Prince(did you actually read it? Amateurish in every way; an embarrassment-and full of make-believe) that proves absolutely nothing other than that you are prone to believing an urban myth just like a lot of other people. What are your sources for that “knowledge”?
      I’m betting it was the inaccurate and muckraking Richard Schickel book-loaded with editorializing and errors.

  • Tom

    Leni Riefenstahl, director of the infamous and groundbreaking Nazi propoganda film, “Triumph of the Will”, flew to the U.S. after the war and tried to promote her film “Olympia” to the different studio heads. The only one who didn’t refuse to see her was Walt Disney. Riefenstahl has said that Disney told her he admired her work, but was afraid to work with her for fear of public backlash against him.

    I’m not saying this proves anything, but it is true. It’s debatable whether or not Riefenstahl was Nazi supporter, and she was definitely very talented.

  • its funny i was just talking to my 18 year old Cousin about this. She began quoting that “Walt Disney was frozen and that he hated the Jews.” And yes, her primary source was family guy. Interesting post.

    though I admit, it would be cool if he was frozen and could come back somehow..just sayin…

  • Jim

    I think part of reason why the anti-Semitic claim is as widespread as it is, is that it seems like something that should be true. Kids today are cynical, and any company that spends so much time trumpeting “magic” and “happiness” has to be hiding some dark secrets.

    Walt is regularly portrayed as a remarkable, amazing guy, so clearly he has to have some amazing character flaws that they don’t want us to know about, anti-Semitism among them. Whether its true is beside the point.

    • Funkybat

      I’ve heard far more outlandish and frankly disgusting rumors about Walt than simple anti-Semitism, and I give them even less credence than the claims about hating Jews or being frozen. It’s true that the more someone is held up as an object of admiration and goodness, the more some people want to paint them as the exact opposite.

      I really don’t know where some of these preposterous rumors come from. *If* Walt ever said anything that we would consider “out of line” today about people of a certain race or religion, it was most likely something that would be seen as socially acceptable back then. I strongly doubt that Walt Disney was a hard-line racist at any point in his life.

  • I think it’s inevitable to lose some perspective when analyzing a figure of such lasting influence in culture. I don’t think Disney was in fact a Jews or Blacks hater, and as far as I see, most accusations derive from comments he made regarding people being not white, o by the analysis of some of his work (like “Song from the South”, or the Three Little Pigs mentioned above). But let’s not forget that he was born in 1901, 110 years ago… The international concern for the Jewish community on a humanitarian and political level wouldn’t rise until the Nazi Holocaust in 1940’s (and we know he was against it), and the Civil Rights movement had to wait until the 1960’s in America. Before that time, I think it was not considered “incorrect” to reproduce social stereotypes for humorous effect or even use racial slurs in informal private situations (have you seen how racist and sexist are the characters portrayed in “Mad Men”? And it was in the early 60’s already). Of course I’m not justifying such behavior, but let’s not judge people out of their own context. A big majority of people back in those day was raised with different levels of racism, you can even say America was racist itself. It took a considerable amount of time, even entire generations, to grow out of racism and bigotry in the United States. On the other hand, considering how much he and his company struggled to make him look like almost a perfect man, it’s no wonder we would expect of him to be a paragon of virtue, but the simple truth is he was not. He was a child of his own generation, along with many others that built american culture, with its amazing achievements but also its regrettable faults, many of which faults America has left behind, many of which still persist…
    I don’t believe in idealizing people, and Disney had flaws. But that fact doesn’t diminish his influence in the animation industry and his genius as an entertainer. The fact that people today chose to believe in either the mythical infallible animation genius or the tabloid caricature of an undercover Nazi, speaks more of today’s disinformation and general confusion that what is said on the man himself

  • Stephan

    Walt Disney was a Union Buster. Who knows if he hated Jews, maybe not, the only one who knows died in 1966. But I don’t imagine any of his upper management workers needed unions, and I don’t imagine they were Jews. Even though he could manage a cartoon studio, he never believed in worker’s rights, and volunteered to name names in the McCarthy era, ruining the careers of many and driving them to suicide. No one can take away from him that he made some inspiring movies, but like many big buissiness men he was okay with crushing the little guy.

    He was against the Nazis, but it could very well have been because of the Roosevelt pushed forward propaganda effort, and not because his heart bled for the Jews (unlike, say, Chaplin’s The Great Dictator, made when fascism was a popular force in America, garnering Chaplin death threats. I don’t think Der Feuhrer’s Face, made in WW2, only garnered him a patriotism fueled Oscar). I have no belief he liked the Jews anymore than he was forced to. It was a diffirent time. A time where with few exceptions women were relegated to the Ink and Paint, black people weren’t invited to the Oscars when they were nominated and well, Jews didn’t get a lot of jobs.

    You didn’t provide a lot of evidence that he ISN’T an anti semite, just kind of why people believe it? (But frankly, that rumor has been popping up so much earlier, interviews in the 50’s I find about him firing the Jews on his staff.) The only thing that I’ve found is that when Song of the South was accused of racism he hired a Token Jew to rewrite it (you know, cuz he was Jewish, and thus a minority.) That’s a gentle form of bigotry that I think most people have grown to accept in the modern era.

    I don’t understand how the Yahoo Answers are evidence of anything. I could find things that are just pure ignorance on there, people who think you birth a baby out of your mouth, anything.

    • optimist

      “Token Jew”? “Black people weren’t invited to the Oscars”? “[Disney]driving men to suicide” via firing (and exactly who the hell was that supposed to have been! You must have some hot info that no other writer on Disney has EVER noted!)…

      Your comment makes it depressingly clear why there’s so much misinformation and ignorance spread as fact around the internet. That won’t fly here or among people who bother to educate themselves somewhere other than hearsay and yahoo and discredited books.

      • Stephan

        Nah, these are from primary sources. The token Jew thing was from the man himself. He said he got a Jew to appease critics. The black thing wasn’t even him, it was the maid from Gone with the Wind. He made some cartoons you liked, but he was far from a saint. As for the suicides, they were a fallout of McCarthyism which Disney adored. So many men ended their lives in that time, and every rat helped.

      • optimist

        1)Please cite where “the man himself” said any such thing.

        2) Hattie McDaniel, the first black recipient of the Oscar, was most certainly present and sitting AT the ceremony, ascending the stage to accept her award. Video of her speech on YT. Check it out.

        3)You clearly know zip about the HUAC in Hollywood years apart from a dimly recalled headline or two. And “Suicides”(plural)?

      • TheBandSnapsBack

        If you got them from primary sources, you should name the sources. And just who were the suicides, and what were their credits?

      • I’m with Stefan. Most of you need to get it out of your heads that this is something about ‘today’s’ kids and world, when these rumors were certainly around ‘yesterday’ started by grown men.

        I don’t know if James Baskett was barred from accepting his Honorary Academy Award at the ceremony, but he sure wasn’t allowed to attend the premiere of the movie he won it for because of Atlanta segregation laws. Surely the guy whose studio made the movie could’ve arranged the premiere somewhere else if he really wanted his star to be there, right?

        Nasty and, more importantly, true little things like this and what Stefan has said lead to people getting bad reputations, unfortunately.

      • optimist

        Are you sure you aren’t confusing “Gone With The Wind’s Atlanta premiere, which Hattie McDaniel was indeed not allowed to attend as a black woman in that Atlanta theater(Clark Gable, to name one, was furious over this and said he wouldn’t go at all, though MGM insisted and he eventually did) with wherever “Song Of The South”‘s was?

        And NO, James Baskett wasn’t “barred” from the Academy Awards ceremony where he was honored(!) anymore than McDaniel was years earlier.

        Not saying that things were just rosy in racial understanding in ’39 or 49 for god’s sake, but don’t change history to make all of it seem as bad as much of it was.

        Rumors are worthless. Facts are not.

      • TsimoneTseTse

        “Jews didn’t get a lot of jobs”
        In Hollywood? Oy, veh!
        Like Harry Cohen, Louis B Mayer, Max & Dave Fleischer, George & Ira Gershwin, Al Jolsen, Samuel Goldwyn, Irving Thalberg, Jack Benny, the Marx Brothers, Benny Goodman…..

      • Stephan

        Nah, more like most of our grandfathers. I said Jews didn’t GET jobs. All those guys created their own businesses and were celebrities. People liked the powerful, no matter what their religion. You don’t have to say Disney was an anti semite, he might not have been and to me his using Joe Grant, a head writer, is a good sign, but its downright offensive to just turn a blind eye to the struggle of Jews in early America. Groucho Marx, an A lister, was kicked out of pools.

        Amids list of Jews is pretty cool though. Still, like the Three Pigs cartoon caricature kind of showed, it still seems like he just didn’t really care. It makes him no different than most of the people who vote in gay marriage but still use slurs. He’s not an anti semite or a Nazi.

      • 2) Hattie McDaniel, the first black recipient of the Oscar, was most certainly present and sitting AT the ceremony, ascending the stage to accept her award. Video of her speech on YT. Check it out.

        I suspect the comment is just confusing the Oscars, with the Premiere of the Film in Atlanta, Georgia. Segregation laws in the Georgia did prevent Hattie McDaniel and others from attending the premiere with the rest of the case.

  • Morgen

    Another reason that may spark your interest: I know that every time I go on Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland at least one person in the boat points out the burning “menora” in the window of one of the buildings in the last room (could also be a candelabra in my opinion.)

  • Alissa

    I’ve always thought Family Guy’s Walt Disney bashing came from Seth MacFarlane’s time at Hanna-Barbera. I figured it was probably water cooler gossip while he was there.

    I never took the jokes too seriously until it became impossible to mention his name without someone chiming in with “well you know he was anti-Semitic”.

    I have never thought the man was perfect, he definitely seems like a difficult person to have worked for. But perpetuating these kind of ugly myths seems unfair.

  • Dan

    through my extensive research on yahoo answers, I also discovered that unicorns exist!!!
    but seriously, that’s some great hard hitting investigative journalism, Amid.
    You’ve blown this case wide open through your research on…yahoo answers…
    Have you ever browsed yahoo answers before? There’s a million brain dead questions for every opinion, no matter how ill informed. Hardly “proof” of social trends.
    Here’s a trend: your desperation to create controversy.
    Stick to what your good at….copy and pasting links to vimeo clips.

  • Daphne Yue

    Like anything on Yahoo!Answers – much less the entirety of the internet – should be taken seriously.

  • Scarabim

    Amid, thank you for bringing up this subject. It’s appalling that jerks like MacFarlane can defame people and call it humor, and worse, teach today’s kids that a decent family man who created wholesome entertainment that’s stood the test of time was in reality a Jew-hating racist Nazi. MacFarlane should be ashamed of himself. He’s the hatemonger, if anyone is.

    • snip2345

      Because KIDS ALL watch the appropriately-targetted show Family Guy, and MacFarlane was of COURSE the one and only person to spread the rumor around!

  • When you learn from Family Guy, you learn with Hitler!

  • Steve G

    If nothing else qualifies Walt as NOT Anit-Semitic it should be these three words: The Sherman Brothers.

    I don’t doubt that Walt, like every other non-Jew from his generation, said some stupid bigoted remarks occasionally and equivocate the Commies with Jews, but I think it’s pretty clear from his hiring practices that he was not a Jew hater or a Nazi lover. Of course, I don’t think for a minute he was the sweet old “Uncle Walt” that was portrayed to the public either.

    • Stephan

      Only two Jews hired in LA, one of the biggest populations of Jews, I think is still damning.

      Why are people so in love with Walt here anyway? It’s like people who like to pretend the Indians died out due to weakness.

      • optimist

        “Only two”? Do you seriously think that The Sherman brothers were the only jewish employees of the Disney Studio in Walt’s lifetime?

        Actually I suspect from the comparison in your last sentence that you’re just trolling for attention.

      • Zack Schwartz.

        Make that AT LEAST 3 members of The Tribe that worked for Walt on a long term basis.

        While “Stephan” writes from conjecture, I actually spoke with Zack about it.

      • amid

        I’m surprised that the Disney company has never bothered to document just how many Jewish people Walt hired, not to mention that they held some of the most prominent positions in the studio. There weren’t just a couple as implied above, there were dozens of Jewish employees. I’ve included just a few of the known artists below:

        Gunther Lessing
        Harry Tytle
        Otto Englander
        Joe Grant
        The Sherman Bros
        Berny Wolf
        Friz Freleng
        Bill Hurtz
        Jules Engel
        Zach Schwartz
        Dave Hilberman
        Art Babbitt
        Maurice Rapf
        Ed Levitt
        Kay Kamen
        Ed Gershman

        And other prominent artists like Marc Davis and David Swift had Jewish fathers.

      • Jeff Kurtti

        Don’t forget Marty Sklar, Walt’s personal speechwriter/publicist.

    • Jorge Garrido

      “Of course, I don’t think for a minute he was the sweet old “Uncle Walt” that was portrayed to the public either.”

      News at 11!

  • Justin

    if anyone is interested, there is a documentary series called “secret lives” that did an episode on walt disney back in 1995. Its worth looking up, but all those things are mentioned, granted it could be quite bias, there are a lot of interviews in this one

    here is the list of interviewers


    take it as you will

    • Justin

      the episode is on youtube if you are curious

  • Stephen M. Levinson

    Kids now a days are such media puppets, it doesn’t matter what the truth is, whatever family guy says they take as fact. The only way kids will really find out the truth is for them to take their own initiative to really find out and if they don’t take that initiative to learn the truth and just agree with everything everyone tells them, why does their opinion matter?

  • Zach Bellissimo

    Not to mention, Song of the South, the man who played Uncle Remus, James Baskett who Walt Considered the greatest actor he worked with.

  • David Breneman

    I think a lot of this can be traced to post-1960s historic revisionism. The kind that says that the Founding Fathers were sinister hypocrites, or that western culture is the source of evil in the world, or that Hugo Chavez must be a great guy simply because he hates George Bush. In this world view, someone like Walt Disney MUST have a dark side. Walt Disney drank and cussed and lost his temper, but that’s not enough. He achieved so much that is hailed by our wicked western civilization as good, it’s impossible that he could not be secretly wicked himself. People today are growing up in a culture that tells them that their culture itself is bad. It’s like the old “Everything that I say is a lie” conundrum. It’s the product of an ailing culture.

    • Scarabim

      That’s the best analysis of the Walt hate – and the sick, sad culture of today – I’ve ever read. Bravo! If only you were a schoolteacher…

  • What else can you expect from a show that uses the same unfunny pedophile and gay schtick over and over, and assaults viewers with Conway Twitty videos?

  • AaronSch

    David Breneman nailed it. The only thing I would add is that a major corporation bears his name and he produced propaganda films for the war effort. For many, that’s proof enough of his wickedness. Just ask James Cameron.

  • Mark

    According to Scott Berg’s biography GOLDWYN, Walt was friends with Sam Goldwyn – he was Jewish. In fact they were planning a couple of projects together. I have documents relating to one such project.

    The Sherman Brothers played a huge role in the latter part of Walt’s career, if he were an anti-semite I doubt we would ever have heard of them – at least as far as Disney is concerned.

    Also wolf in The Three Little Pigs. That was a common stereotype of the time animated by none other than Art Babbitt. Come on, there are stereotypes in nearly every cartoon of that era, that would make Hannah, Barbera, Jones, Clampett even Freleng racist.

    A lot of these rumors reportedly originate from disgruntled employees who lost their jobs during and after the 1941 strike.

    • Do only Jews (like me!) get the PIGS joke?

      The point isn’t to randomly use a stereotype for a cheap laugh (“we can make the Wolf’s salesman costume funnier by making it ethnic”). It’s that a Jew would be less likely to eat pigs—so it’s actually an added feature of the disguise that the Wolf presumably thinks will help him.

      Yes—the visual design of the disguise is crudely insensitive by today’s standards (or even 1940s standards, as that’s when the scene was reanimated). But the basic gag—that Zeke Wolf should have a “Jew” disguise for fooling pigs—is pretty funny.

      • Jeff Kurtti

        Bless you sir, as someone who has “gotten” this joke for ages, but can never seem to get anyone to see it!

    • Jeff Kurtti

      Walt and Lilly and Samuel and Frances Goldwyn were friends throughout Walt’s lifetime. They dined together frequently, and one can see in two of Hollywood’s most independent producers where their common bond could originate.

  • Autumn
  • Andy

    Pushing 50 and have been a Disney fan all my life. I have almost every major biography of him (except “The Animated Man”) and never heard anything about him being anti-Semetic until “Hollywood’s Dark Prince” came along. I do remember hearing rumors about him being frozen back in elementary school (which was not long after he died) but I had no idea what that actually meant until years later. Did that start with the Schiekel book? I haven’t read it in ages…

    I did once have a button with a picture of a melting ice cube on it with the caption “Walt Disney was frozen for your sins”. I used to wear it every time I went to Disneyland.

    • Russell H

      I think it was Richard Schickel’s book, THE DISNEY VERSION, that really sent this meme nationwide. He made much of how few Jews worked at Disney’s studio (does anyone have any kind of real data on this?) and seemed to see the prime evidence as being the Wolf’s “Jewish Peddlar” disguise in THE THREE LITTLE PIGS.

      During that same time-period, one could find any number of cartoons from Terrytoons, Van Beuren, Fleischer or Schlesinger featuring equally egregious Jewish stereotype images–and two of those studios were owned by Jews. It was no more or less egregious or common than characters of “Irish cops,” “Italian organ-grinder or fruit-vendors,” etc. That was what was considered “funny” at the time, a carryover from the broad humor of vaudeville.

      Can anybody come up with any other Disney cartoon with a Jewish image other than THE THREE LITTLE PIGS?

  • Andy

    Oh and one more thing. I worked graveyard janitorial a D’land back in my college days (1980) and worked with a few old-timers that had been around since the place opened, and they all had differing opinions of Uncle Walt. The only common thread – they all respected him tremendously and confirmed that boy, did he like to drink.

  • The man DID have a THEME PARK dedicated to different parts of the world and it’s cultures, after all. I don’t think someone who would be antisemitic or hateful to any one group, would have such a place.

  • Justin Delbert

    I just couldn’t read through the whole post; it sickens me. Parden my French but what the hell are they doing trying to bash Walt Disney like this? We have no proof of this. Forget the fact that you may love Family Guy and forget the fact that you may think that this paticular scene with Disney is funny (I do); it is making kids believe that Walt Disney froze himself so that he could get away from the Jews. Lets put two things on the record: 1. He’s dead; I’ve got an article from 1966 in my chonicles book to prove it 2. Proven fact: he was creamated. After I saw that last words of Walt Disney,”Damn Jew” crap, that did it; I refused to read anymore of it. Again, prove it; pick up the phone, “Hello, Diane Disney Miller, can you tell us about your dad and his thoughts about Jewish people”. Oh no, she’s not the best person to ask; she only opens up museums about her dad. Let’s ask Katie from high school who cares more about texting, tweeting, and Facebooking than anything else; that’s who’s spreading this Goddamn rumor! I’m sorry, but I’m a loyal Disney fan, and I’m sticking to it!

  • cougar

    walt disney is dead… move on with your lives.

  • J.M.Urbina

    I just wanna say people like Seth McFarlane and Seth Green should lower their hate towards figures like Walter Elias Disney the man directly responsible for an industry so developed and so well thought that allows Jeffrey Katzenberg, Seth Green and Seth MacFarlane himself (three jewish dudes)to be filthy rich. Good day.

  • I dunno if it’s true or not but I have heard of Disney having a secret relationship with Hitler (who was a huge disney fanatic). Supposedly he sent gifts and LOTS of money to Hitler under a secret alias.

    Considering the way that he treated women and his workers, antisemitic or not, I think he deserves the reputation.

    • optimist

      Most hilarious comment yet! You just laugh til you cry.

      That’s all very interesting info you have there. Gee, Walt must have been some kind of a SUPER SPY-since almost immediately after Pearl Harbor(Dec 7’41 in case you didn’t know) his entire studio was home to US Army guns, men and classified government work on films for the war effort. Everyone working there had to be cleared, of course. The studio had been shaky financially, too, largely but not only because of the diminished market for Disney Features when war broke out in Europe 2 years earlier.

      And during all this Walt was sending gifts and LOTS of MONEY to Hitler, you say! Think about that for a second. At least you preface that whopper with “I don’t know if it’s true or not but”.
      But hey, he deserves a reputation as a nazi/fifth columnist anyway, what the hell.

      I give up.

      • Like I said. The way that he treated his workers was deplorable. Thats why his animators went on strike several times and there was a resonating culture against promoting women in the business. Everyone makes him out to be this nice and wonderful guy which he probably was for a business man in his day. By today’s standards he was a bastard.

      • Giovanni Jones

        They went on strike “several times?” I only recall READING BOOKS about one. It was horrible, to be sure. And as for the “resonating culture about promoting women,” that may be true, but more a symptom of the times than of Walt in particular.

        On a positive (and non sarcastic) note, it’s really remarkable that we live in a modern society in which so much progress has occurred on behalf of women and minorities in the late few decades that there are generations who cannot even conceive of the kind of common mainstream stereotyping and sexism that existed in past. MAD MEN does not exaggerate any of this at all. Walt Disney’s dilemma is that he is still “alive” as an icon yet his human frailties and societal relationships took place long ago and yet apparently must still take hits by today’s mores and progresses.

        Sure glad I’m not famous!

      • Your absolutely right times were different in those days. When it was ok for him to be a racist and a chauvinist he was a racist and a chauvinist. When it was ok for him to approve antisemitic material he approved it. I think that based on the evidence posted earlier,.. http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/1623/was-walt-disney-a-fascist
        ..when it was ok for him to be a Nazi sympathizer he was a Nazi sympathizer. Thats all there is to it. He went to Nazi meetings until it became dangerous to his career and THEN he cleaned up his act. If the information about the Nazi meetings had gotten out to the public during his lifetime the country would have labeled him a Nazi. I do think Disney did lots of great things in his day but like I said earlier he was also a bastard.

      • Scarabim

        Yes, Walt was a total chauvinist when he hired Mary Blair. He was a total racist when he hired Floyd Norman. He was a total Nazi sympathizer when he made the cartoon “Der Fuhrer’s Face”. And he was a total bastard when he gave a tour of Disneyland before it opened to a dying little boy and then instructed his assistants: “No publicity”.

        You don’t know what you’re talking about, and your “proofs” are spurious. This comment from the article you linked to is especially ridiculous: “On the other hand, there was a lot of antisemitic feeling in the Disney studio. While no one can specifically attribute bias to Disney himself, Jewish people were ready fodder for the animators’ gags and Disney approved every scene in every short the studio made. In one scene in the original version of “The Three Little Pigs,” the Big Bad Wolf comes to the door dressed as a stereotypical Jewish peddler. Disney changed the scene after complaints from Jewish groups. They didn’t catch them all, though. In the short “The Opry House” Mickey Mouse is seen dressed and dancing as a Hasidic Jew.”

        THAT is proof of “a lot of antisemitic feeling in the Disney studio”? As has been pointed out by others, stereotyping was rampant in cartoons made by every studio in the animation industry. Warner Bros. did it, Fleischers did it, it was de rigueur. No actual harm, I believe, was meant. Ethnic humor was a part of vaudeville, of radio, of motion pictures. We are more enlightened today about the harm even benevolent usage of stereotypes can do, but the use of such types in the context of his times hardly proves that Walt was a “bastard”.

        Stop spreading the lie.

      • Just because everyone was doing it doesn’t make it right. All of my clothes, cars and electronics come from cheap and inhumane labor practices. It’s just the way things are in my society. Does that make me a bastard? YES! Do people have the right ridicule me in the future? YES!

      • Giovanni Jones

        It was not a matter of “if Hitler jumped off a bridge, would Walt do it, too.”

        None of these things were EVER ‘ok,’ but times changes and fortunately some things do improve. People thought the world was flat, too. The examples could go on and on and we could go back and forth for days.

        The point is not that Walt Disney should be forgiven for any lapses in judgement or character flaws. The point is that times — and more importantly, people — have changed. You cannot know what it was like to live in another era unless you have a time machine, thus you cannot accuse someone of “going along with the crowd” when you weren’t around then, nor in the same room with them.

        Again, in you watch MAD MEN, you will see that the sexism and stereotypes were so ingrained over generations that it wasn’t even a matter of taste. Shocking as it seems, people loved now-archaic forms of entertainment and daily discourse in which non-PC was not even a matter or wrong or right, it just WAS. There is no excuse for that except that people improved these narrow views and inappropriate materials. However, back then, they were not viewed as either — again, by the mainstream — and thus were not premeditated. It was ignorance, it was fear of the unknown, but mostly it was just a matter of learning more about other cultures and the rights of others and it was harder for those messages to get across before mass communication and transportation began to bring disparate people together.

        Ironically, now we have virtually unlimited communication abilities at our fingertips and often the wrong messages get circulated and perceived as true, which is as low-tech as medieval gossip.

  • We live in pretty stupid times. Providing the Disney company or family museum make a presence to debunk these misconceptions, what else can be done to influence the sheep of the public?

    At the end of the day, the only really important Disney-related topic is finding more Alice Comedies and Oswald cartoons. Turn off your TVs…see you in the film vault.

    • See you there. I’ll bring the wolf-proof paint… I mean, the nitrate-proof gloves.

  • prince

    2 things yet to be mentioned in this long thing:

    – Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin etc: HUGE disney fans. Not that this says he encouraged them, it just helps keep up rumors.

    – What about the rumor that Disney kept a signed picture of Mussolini in his office? I distinctly remember this passed along (“The Dark Prince”, perhaps?)

    Yeah, the union busting and the “song of the south” type caricatures don’t help.

    • David Breneman

      Franklin Roosevelt was an admirer of Mussolini. He once told a Rabbi and Priest (friends of his) that they should stop agitating for him to try to stop the Holocaust because [paraphrase] “America is a Protestant country and we only permit Jews and Catholics here under our sufferance.” He palled around with Southern senators who were Clansmen. There. Actual documented facts about an American president. (See Amity Shlaes _The Forgotten Man_.) Why don’t people complain about this man? Why, instead, do they repeat libels about Disney? Could it be because FDR worked in government, which is supposedly beyond reproach, and Disney worked in business, which is supposedly the font of all evil in the world? Disney was no saint, but by any measure he was a far better man than his contemporary Roosevelt. Yet people libel Disney and worship FDR. Strange indeed.

      • prince

        How is FDR related to this discussion, again? Because
        he’s famous? Glib…

        Your bias is showing and methinks you protest too much.

        I didn’t say I supported rumors BTW- I just brought up that they exist.

      • David Breneman

        Don’t be so silly as to think that you can throw a bomb and then shrug and walk away from it. You made four scurrilous accusations against Disney under the guise of “2 things yet to be mentioned”. I brought forth an example of a contemporary of Disney’s who made blatantly anti-Semitic comments and associated himself with racists (and who popular culture treats as a saint), and asked “Why is he given a pass for things he did, yet Disney is vilified for things he never said or did” and all you can say in your defense is “How is FDR related to this discussion…” and suggest that I have a bias.

        A bias FOR what? A bias AGAINST what? A bias for the truth? A bias against racist bastards? Am I protesting too much for defending a good man who isn’t here to speak for himself? What’s YOUR agenda? Who’s your sociology professor, and why are your mindlessly doing his bidding? <— Ah say, That's a joke, son! :-)

      • prince

        LOL “throw a bomb”… you’re getting a little purple, champ.

        I mentioned that there exists a story that Disney kept a signed picture of Mussolini in his office. It may have come from the “Dark Prince” book. I didn’t make that up, and it’s added to the list because it’s on topic. FDR is not.

        Oh no a rich corporation owner is getting dissected, boohoo. Why don’t you post some junk about how bush got a raw deal from the librul media now?

  • Family Guy and The Simpsons have made jokes about this because it’s a ridiculous rumor, and they poke fun of it because it’s so over-the-top. It’s the same thing with the rumor that he’s frozen.

    People are just idiots. They think it’s true because Family Guy says it. They’re not only taking satire literally, but using a comedy as a source for factual information.


    I’ll leave this here.

    Oh, and guess what? You know that Donald Duck cartoon where he was a Nazi? IT WAS TO SHOW HOW EVIL THE NAZIS WERE. Stop taking comedy literally, people!

    Also, I’m not a Walt Disney fan, so you can’t blame my fanboyism for my defensiveness. I’m being defensive because I hate the ignorance of modern America.

  • Professor Widebottom

    The Walt-as-Jew-hater simply augurs well in our beloved binary political climate. It’s just in the culture. Defamation and scapegoating are stock in trade on all the cable news channels and everyone wants to be part of the fun. Walt’s “wholesome” entertainment, rife with Germanic fairy tales and Saxon values must ultimately have a dark underbelly and we must find the snark angle to fit the polarity zeitgeist narrative so pervasive. It’s a shorthand way to signify that we get it.

    It just goes to show how we’re all, to some extent, products of our time and so was Walt.

    I’ve always thought that the Family Guy writing was a hollow, lazy re-hash of Simpsons, so I naturally celebrated the slam.

  • Ron

    These Yahoo questions are like that old joke about presumptuous questions: “Senator, how long has it been since you stopped beating your wife?”

    I’ve been a Disney fan my whole life. I’ve also been Jewish my whole life and therefore was relieved to know that the rumors of Walt’s anti-semitism were not true.

    It’s one of those memes that caught on and became so widespread that you have to wonder what if anything will ever change it.

    THOUGH recently at a trip to Disneyland, I heard a family discussing Walt’s background and they were all under the assumption that “Disney” was a Jewish name. I don’t think that family was Jewish either btw.

    Anyway, I would much prefer that rumor caught on than the other one. Even though it’s not true either, it’s an improvement in my opinion. :)

  • Jenny

    Walt was pretty paranoid about communists and unions though, just go search for Naomi Klein’s dad (Walt Disney worker who protested with a union) and see what I mean.

  • anonyMouse

    this is an interview with Walt Peregoy on the guild website. he says straight out that Walt Disney was anti-Semitic


    not sure if that’s because Walt Peregoy seems to say slanders about anybody and everybody.

    • Scarabim

      He also says that Marc Davis was gay, which he was not. So much for credibility. Peregoy came off as a bitter old fool in every interview he ever gave.

  • Perhaps most of the people posting questions to these forums would be better off learning to spell rather than spending their time trying to substantiate rumours

  • wgan

    i thought he was just afraid of rats, that’s why he created micky, right??

  • Mr. E. Mann

    Dude, these prime time shows didn’t pluck this out of thin air. It’s always been a dark secret in the world of cartooning that Walt Disney was evil incarnate.

    Walt was a glorified “business man” that could not draw himself, that just retold existing fairy tales to make money. Period.
    Just like these other hack, false idols like Steve Jobs and Puff Daddy, he just snatched the work of super taleneted people and said “look what I did”!!!!

    The bottom line is that these kids today have EVERY right to think of Walt as a racist!
    Think about it…. Disney made a HUUUUGE push with “The Princess and The Frog” to compensate
    for it’s 50 year white bread image. Surely there are a few kids with a brain to wonder why Disney would feel the need to present themselves in a different light now that it’s under new management. I HATE Walt Disney!! Those Simpons and Famiy Guy Disney jabs were dead on!!

    • Scarabim

      Uh, dude…envious much?

    • Deep Throat

      “It’s long been a dark secret…evil incarnate…just retold fairy takes to make a profit…EVERY RIGHT to think of Walt as a racist…” Yeah dude, and the black ops helicopters come at night to hide the aliens inside the Washingtom monument which I can prove because it’s long been a secret too. God life is far too complicated for the internet to ever understand it.

  • Was My FAce Red

    Brian eats Stewie’s shitty nappy because he thinks it’s Indian food. That’s 100% more racist that anything Walt ever put in a cartoon.

  • Seth Green and Seth McFarlane are just comedians. Getting mad at a comedian for making fun of people seems incredibly ridiculous and naive to me. I think everyone needs to put down their pitchforks and just calm down.

    I’m personally more inclined to believe that the man behind Songs of the South was definitely a little racist, but I also think it was just a result of growing up in the time period that he did. I don’t think that’s any kind of excuse, but it puts his potential racism in perspective a little bit.
    I think people need to stop idolizing him and come to terms with the fact that he was a human being, with virtues and flaws just like everyone else. Most of us won’t know for sure whether he was racist or not, or to what extent. Arguing about it when very few of us have firsthand experience with him is just pointless

  • HermanMelting

    Because he lived in an era where it was culturally acceptable to hate blacks and Jews? We all love to think that our heroes from bygone eras had modern views; “oh, Whatever Hero I Had #3820 grew up in a time when women were essentially considered property, but I bet he was, like, the one guy who wanted give women the vote and didn’t mind the idea of stay-at-home dads and completely regarded women as equals!” It’s a nice thought, but extremely unrealistic.

    He tried to bust up the strikers too, but you know what? So did everyone else in that time. He also named names to McCarthy. That was pretty acceptable back then.

    Yes, Family Guy is stupid and “Disney is a Nazi” is a worn-out joke, but come on. Popularizing a cartoon rodent doesn’t turn anyone into a saint, even if it’s a cartoon rodent you really like.

    You show some nice examples of ignorance on the internet, but there are just as many examples of people actively disregarding a celebrity’s horrible faults just because that celebrity is entertaining.

  • Mike Russo

    “Family Guy and The Simpsons have made jokes about this because it’s a ridiculous rumor, and they poke fun of it because it’s so over-the-top. It’s the same thing with the rumor that he’s frozen.

    People are just idiots. They think it’s true because Family Guy says it. They’re not only taking satire literally, but using a comedy as a source for factual information.”

    Exactly. It’s the people who are dumb enough to take things at face value who are the problem, not the ones who are making the joke.

    But people will take any excuse to bash Family Guy I suppose. Even if it’s stupid.

  • Connie Pinko

    If you’re the kind of kid who believes what you hear on Family Guy and then goes to Yahoo! Answers (versus a book) seeking clarity, then I’ve got a bridge I’d like to sell you.

    Also, people’s misconceptions are not the writers’ fault.

  • When I was a teenager I had to go to the library to read every Disney biography I could get my hands on and you could actually see the films on 16mm. It was awesome! What I learned was that Walt Disney was a man with a vision, he was a producer of cartoon films and took that very basic medium in the early 20th century and added to it the machine and production methods of the industrial revolution. If he had merely been interested in making loads of cash, Walt would have not pushed for the quality that, in my opinion, is rarely surpassed today, raising animation to an art form in the process. Also, many forget, that the Disney Studio was not a huge conglomerate as it is today. In fact it was one of the independents that struggled to find funding and stay solvent. No small feat in Hollywood. Walt’s personal beliefs always seemed to be optimistic, innovative, looking forwards to the future. That in itself is enough to admire the man.

  • Charlie Judkins

    Disney deserves a lousy reputation, but not for racism. He deserves it for treating the handful of New York animation pioneers he employed in the 30s like shit. Imagine having someone like Earl Hurd working for YOU and still being so ungrateful.

  • toasty

    Will it be the same for Seth Macfarlane in the future? C’mon fans Let’s make him even more popular by making rumors about him, I’m sure he’ll love it too.

    I kind of wish he sang more than he cracks jokes.

    Gah! It’s true! The Internet will either make you smart and famous or melt your brains and sense of shame!

  • I’m surprised no one’s mentioned Robert Smigel’s SNL TV Funhouse cartoon “Journey to the Disney Vault” yet. It covers much the same ground as Robot Chicken and Family Guy, and this very site called the short “brilliant.”

    To be fair, I’m not calling Cartoon Brew out. “Journey to the Disney Vault” specifically makes fun of the Disney-hates-Jews-and-Negroes rumours, as part of the larger parody of an animated film about the Disney Vault.

    The jokes in the “JotDV” cartoon aren’t that much fresher than RC‘s or FG‘s, but at least the cartoon frames the rumours around more over-the-top elements, like Vivien Leigh’s head, a live Jim Henson in the Disney Vault, and that Lion King/The View crossover.

  • prince

    Nothing like a good old Hitler post to bring 120+ comments!

    Sainting any person (especially for being good at raking in cash) is always a set up for exposing their human failures.

  • Andy

    Too many posts to waddle through, but the many that I did reflect on what the f&*k is wrong with discourse on the internet. Everything is either/or. Kurt Vonnegut said it best, as usual: “Thanks to TV and for the convenience of TV, you can only be one of two kinds of human beings, either a liberal or a conservative.” Either you believe that Walt Disney was a Jew hating racist hack or you’re a weepy fanboy that just hates “Family Guy”. Is it just me or are things like understanding complexity and nuance (or even plain old facts)a thing of the past?

    I blame Glenn Beck. Or 4chan.

    P.S. I like “Family Guy”, but “American Dad” is better.


  • Well it doesn’t help that Unca Walt was a big Leni Reifenstahl fan-



    He was also an active particpant in HUAC and a Union Buster. So perhaps not a member of the Henry Ford Iron Cross Club, but definitely a colossal asshole. Oh also,

    Also if you’re watching Family Guy for the animation quality, you’re doing it very wrong.

  • Joe M.

    Here’s a juicy tidbit about St. Disney of Buena Vista…

    “In 1941, producer Walt Disney took out an ad in Variety, the industry trade magazine, declaring his conviction that “Communist agitation” was behind a cartoonists and animators’ strike. (According to historians Larry Ceplair and Steven Englund, “In actuality, the strike had resulted from Disney’s overbearing paternalism, high-handedness, and insensitivity.”)[4] Inspired by Disney, California State Senator Jack Tenney, chairman of the state legislature’s Joint Fact-Finding Committee on Un-American Activities, launched an investigation of “Reds in movies”. The probe fell flat, and was mocked in several Variety headlines.[4]”

    From : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hollywood_blacklist

  • Gray64

    It’d be hard for me to believe that anyone who was pro-Nazi would’ve approved “Der Fuehrer’s Face” or “Little Hans;” of course, the US was at war with Germany at the time those were made, so maybe that’s not a convincing defense.
    Oh, and to Prince: “Sainting any person (especially for being good at raking in cash) is always a set up for exposing their human failures” is a bit cynical and misleading. No one’s sainted Disney for his ability to make money; he is a beloved icon of many people’s childhoods as the spokesman for Disney entertainment, and the name on all those great movies so many people rememeber. The fact that he was very financially successful at what he did offends a great many, for reasons I’m sure that great many think are entirely justified. The combination of his “icon of childhood” status along with his great wealth and success makes him a target for the cynical among us, who seem intent on believing that if he peddles innocence and wonder, then he must be a bastard. I’m sure the man had his faults,and they may have been many, but crap should not be made up about him.

  • Giovanni Jones

    How many folks who are incensed at Walt Disney’s un-PC animation are also incensed that Warner Bros. still hasn’t released Bob Clampett’s “Coal Black?”

    • *raises hand slowly and then puts it back down when he sees he’s the only one*

  • Disney was no saint. I do not think that any of the staff who worked closely with him would say he was. He did build up a image for himself, especially when he began doing the TV show. Frankly, I am fine with Walt being on his best behavior on the TV show. I think the show expressed parts of who he really was. The genuine love we saw for the projects he was working on and for the audience he was making them for was a true quality of Walt. Walt was partly a product of his time. He did not give woman the respect and authority that many on them deserved. He did express blacks and native Americans in some negative ways. And, Walt was definitely not known for giving praise to staff members who deserved it. However, Walt did have a vision that changed millions of peoples lives. Many staff members (including The Sherman Brothers and Joe Grant) believed Walt to be a genius and did some of their best work because they believed in what Walt stood for. The key is to see Walt as a flawed human being who was able to create some magnificent work and spread some very healthy values. Making him into a idol or into a villain will do little to help people understand and relate to who Walt really was, because he was neither of those things.

  • Vik

    Wow! Lots of axe-grinding here!

  • Richard B.

    Adolf Hitler on Mickey Mouse: “The most disgusting ideal ever revealed. Mice are dirty!”

    • Funkybat

      In the semi-immortal words of Rich Little impersonating Howard Cosell:

      “Interesting if true…”

  • chipper

    I saw on Family Guy that dogs can talk and babies can build time machines. Is that true?

    • i saw that on mr peabody and sherman too it’s gotta be factual

  • Mat

    I’m glad that Google search had that Walt Disney was born as I always thought that he hatched from an egg. Still it is good that Yahoo Answers is such a wealth of information, otherwise I would not have known about the Mickey & Donald cartoon in which they were portrayed as Nazis (why was this not on any of the Treasures DVDs?) or about Walt being pro-white.
    Seriously though it just shows how Family Guy and Robot Chicken go for the easy laughs than actually trying actual satire.

  • Yoshiki

    yeah, maybe this was true
    but is that walt disney’s fault?
    i say no.
    many people were racists those days…
    so yeah…

    and if u r curious abt this, u should

    do u get it now?

  • Lazlo

    This is quite honestly the most dumbest rumor even thrown.

  • Animation buffs are sick and tired of the way Walt Disney is treated by lazy animation writers who routinely trash his legacy?

    Have you ever looked at the way lazy animation writers have treated circus clowns over the last 20 years?

    I suppose we feel about animation writers the same way that postal employees feel about sitcom writers or Nicole Brown Simpson’s family feels about stand up comics.

    We live in a crass culture. Meet the Feebles, Bad Santa, XXX Batman… we’re like a nation of nasty, pimply-faced teenagers at the magic show screaming “That’s SO lame!” in an effort to ruin the show for the younger kids.

    Your great grandchildren will still sit in wonder of Pinocchio and the Wizard of Oz. We are the custodians of these childhood treasures, we haven’t been very good custodians as of late.

    The world needs a few more people like Fred Rogers and could stand a few less Seth MacFarlane wannabees.

  • Rufus

    Just wanna say : Thank you for this post. It’s excellent, and then some. :)

  • Thank you so much for this post, Amid. I am currently writing a Disney biography. And when I tell people that I’m writing a book about Walt Disney, the first thing that comes up is racism or anti-semitism. I just roll my eyes and sigh. He may not have always been cuddly Uncle Walt and it’s okay not to like him, but at least we could talk about him truthfully.

  • Kevin H.

    Really? Yahoo Answers? I don’t think there’s a bigger joke on the internet.

  • Doz Hewson

    The “TLP” video I just watched contains the Jewish stereotype, but retains the dubbed “Fuller Brush Man” rap.
    Has the original, 80 years old dialogue been preserved in any form? If so, I’d sure as fuck like to know what was originally said. Thanks.

  • Paige

    When I was at NYU, I got REAMED and humiliated in front of my class by a professor (who never let us forget she was Jewish) for writing a paper about there being no foundation for the charges of anti-Semitism against Walt Disney. Professor R., I suggest you do your own research….

  • Pieter

    When I visited my Belgian library, I was stunned to find only 1 Disney biography that had a Dutch translation: Hollywood’s Dark Prince. No wonder this rumour has been spreading rapidly.

    PS: The other Disneybook was “Der Konig von Amerika” by Peter Stephan Jungk, which isn’t a biography per se, but the author definetly relied on Eliot’s biography.

  • Jma

    As a student perusing a future career in the animation biz I for one see this as a big cultural issue.
    I think seth macfarlane is too good for family guy and his other formulated shows. (Just admit its all following a pattern American dad, Cleveland show, family guy) You have the bubbling father figure with the loser son and the sadist [ Stewie, Klaust, etc)

    It’s just arbitrary to label Walt Disney as a nazi. I mean come on look at all the anti-nazi animations he did.



    Thats that and I feel that Seth has to realize that he has a cultural influence to say the lease..

    Honestly I am really drunk

    right now . . .lol but I hope this makes sense.

  • Personally, I don’t think Walt Disney liked Hitler and hated Jews – if you don’t believe me – then WATCH HIS propaganda educational films from the 1940’s like “Education for Death”, “Victory Through Air Power” or the Donald Duck cartoon “Der Fuhrer’s Face”.

    I never believed Walt Disney actually disliked Jews, for goodness sake – he’s hired them. As Amid mentioned – the Sherman Brothers were Jewish and Walt referred to them as their sons. Of course, I never look up these things about Disney being Nazi like – but it’s something I refuse to believe – if there’s anyone that new Walt Disney personally – they might know the truth.

  • Yahoo Answers thread and nobody posted this yet?


  • Re Pat Cashin’s post:
    –Have you ever looked at the way lazy animation writers have treated circus clowns over the last 20 years?–

    No. No, I can safely say I have not done that.

  • Why am I not surprised? So many opinions from people who weren’t even there.

    I started at Disney in 1956, and worked with the “Old Man” on “The Jungle Book.” You might want to speak with me if you’ve got a few hours to kill, and I’ll tell you about Walt Disney.

    • Vin

      I for one would believe you over anyone else Mr Norman.

    • Ryoku90

      That’d be fine with me. I remember reading a book on Disney when I was much younger, I didn’t believe then and I still don’t believe that Disney hated Jews. The only thing I know about him is he was a perfectionist which I’ve figured out from multiple sources, none of them being cheaply animated sitcoms.

    • karon engel

      so Mr. Norman is it true? Did walt disney hate the jews? I dont think he did myself. But I would like to have some information to back me up when i get into heated debates about this with my friends. They think he did hate the jews. I try to tell them he didnt. But they always say where is your proof? And no matter how much information i research I never really get a direct answer. Please answer the age old question. So that it may finally be layed to rest.

      • Ger

        Come on, the burden of proof is not on the defender!

      • Joyce

        No offence to your friends, but where is their proof either? Why, just because people start saying this and that can it be true? If you really want to know, you need to pay attention to details you see, and think them through. Why do I think he was this way, what, in the way he does things, prove he was a certain type of person. And if you didn’t live in that time,which I’m assuming you did not, I’m sorry to say you may never know. How to really let it rest is to just stop talking about it with your friends, and hope to see the best in Walt Disney, who wanted, and did, make many cartoons and movies for children around the world to enjoy, and helped them see dreams come true.

    • Heather

      I had never heard about Disney being racist until I decided to do a research project on Disney. Now, it’s all I can find! I”ve watched disney all my life, and I’ve never once thought it was racist.

    • Andrew Froneiser

      In a heartbeat yes. I have plenty of time and he sounds like a brilliant and thought provoking person. I have read some of his quotes and ive never found a more deep thoughted Character.

    • AnonymousArizonan

      There’s no evidence to back your claim. You could just as easily be a ten-year-old kid making up stories for attention.
      You also don’t say if he was or was not racist.

  • Funkybat

    A lot of people seem to cite Family Guy and Robot Chicken as their primary sources for learning of Walt’s alleged racism. I think it’s worth analyzing why these shows are so popular, and why they seem to be the first thing people think of when they discuss where they say “I heard Disney hated Jews.”

    I’m sure Walt had some biases about certain groups, everyone does, and a lot of the stuff people said out loud back then is still in people’s minds today, they just keep it to themselves or say it only to friends. That’s a big reason why Family Guy and MacFarlane’s other shows are so popular; they say all the effed-up stuff that we’re “not supposed to say” but many want to. Much of the humor relies on people’s latent misogyny, racism, ageism, classism, you name it.

    People respond because every joke is either a pop culture reference, and/or something someone can relate to feeling but not saying or doing publicly. For a non-racist example, think of Brian sitting in a restaurant with a crying infant at the next table. He gets fed up and starts screaming and crying like a baby back in it’s face “How do *YOU* like it!? WAAHHHHH!” A character actually follows through on doing something that I’m sure many people out there briefly fantasized about doing when annoyed by an endlessly crying baby in public.

    That doesn’t make it “comedy gold” but it’s relatable humor for a lot of people. The same technique is used constantly in FG and a lot of other “modern comedies.” It’s a reliable way to get laughs out of people’s cathartic discomfort of seeing a cartoon figure act out a dark fantasy or thought they’ve had. Between that, and the timeless urge to “take down a peg” people who are seen as goody two-shoes, jokes about Walt’s alleged “dark side” will probably be popular for many years, unfortunately.

  • Willow Ufgood

    The closest The Simpsons ever came to it was saying that both Hitler and Walt Disney carried “the Evil gene”. Obviously a joke.

    Family Guy has stated multiple times (often as matter-of-fact) that Walt Disney was a racist, anti-Semitic, or bigot. The first time I ever heard this allegation was on this show.

    IMHO the blame here lies with Seth MacFarlane. It’s not really the kids’ fault, they’re just ignorant.

    • Mike Russo

      But if you’re stupid enough to take something you heard on Family Guy at face value and accept it as fact then like I said, you’re the one with the problem, not the show. The show itself has even pointed this out.

      And if you truly think Seth MacFarlane made up the “Walt hated jews” nonsense and actually believes it then…I don’t know what to tell you.

    • Dan Ang

      We can only hope that years from now Seth will be recognized as the douchebag that he is, and kids on Yahoo answers will say “Is it true that Seth McFarlane was a hack?”

  • sigh

    I read a lot of Walt-bashing comments that included phrases such as “I’ve heard a story about,” or, “I saw this on the internet,” and “While watching Robot Chicken…”
    Not to mention the pulled-from-where-the-sun-don’t-shine complete fabrications.
    And I read the cited facts that crushed the lies.

    And I saw, once again, that stupid people still fear the truth.


  • Heck, even a lot of art students here at SCAD still believe that rumor is true. Thanks to this site I now know how that rumor started.
    When i took a history of animation course in art college, we learned many things that put him into a negative light, most of which tied to the whole Disney strike. But him being a racist bigot wasn’t one of them.
    However, according to Beck’s Animated Movie Guide, a Nazi supporter worked at the studio during the production of Pinocchio.

    • amid

      Failing Art Student – This is how rumors get started. According to Jerry’s book, the Nazi supporter who “worked” at Disney was Christian Rub, who provided the live-action reference for Gepetto. The guy was a character actor who appeared in dozens of films released by all the major studios including Columbia, Twentieth Century Fox, MGM, Republic, and RKO.

      Why is that even worth mentioning? It only distorts the conversation and makes it appear that you feel it’s somehow relevant to a discussion of Walt’s beliefs. There were thousands of Disney employees over the years, and you can be assured that their views ran the entire spectrum from respectable to deplorable.

      • Jeff Kurtti

        I remember a lot of the guys who worked with Rub found his politics really offensive, and grew to dislike him intensely. The “Sweet Bavarian Papa” apparently was prone to nasty anti-Semitic and pro-Nazi rants.

        Ollie Johnston once told me how they worked extra hard to make their live-action reference filming with Rub as strenuous as possible–and the stuff for the Monstro scenes used a lot more water than was really necessary.

  • Pieter

    Walt Disney was even awarded a “Man of the Year”-award by a Jewish organization. Not bad for an anti-Semite…

    • Jeff Kurtti

      Walt was named “Man Of The Year” in 1955 by the B’nai B’rith chapter in Beverly Hills.

  • Marc Baker

    I have to blame Matt Groening, and Seth MacFarlane for adding more fuel to the fire of the misconceptions people had with Walt Disney in the past few decades. Sure, it was funny for a quick fix, but when today’s youth actually takes it as gospel, then we’ve got problems.

    • Mike Russo

      They can do whatever they want as far as I’m concerned. People should be smart enough to know better. Comedians shouldn’t hold back in the 21st century just because kids these days are too stupid to know any better.

      • I couldn’t agree more. It’s so stupid to get angry at a comedian for making fun of people

  • I only know from what I saw on Secret Lives. Bill Melendez has a few choice words about Disney, including him firing someone cause he was black.


  • I truly love Bill Melendez and I’ve had many wonderful conversations with him. Heck, I even worked on the Peanuts specials on occasion.

    I honestly don’t know where Bill got that story. Sure, Melendez was ticked off about the Disney strike, and well he should have been. But, the other stuff about Disney just doesn’t cut it. Why the heck didn’t Walt fire me when he saw me walking down the hallway? Plus, why would he want a black kid on his story crew? This stuff just doesn’t add up.

    To be sure, Walt could be a tough, demanding boss, but a racist and anti-semite? Of course, maybe I’m being easy on the boss because he liked my boards.

  • anonymous

    sure, the perception disney was a racist is perpetuated more through pop culture than thoroughly sourced records, but isn’t that how most views, both supported truth and unsupported myths are disseminated?

    ultimately disney really was a dick of an employer. his racial and gender biases were reflected in how he managed. that sort of thing garnered little attention because that sort of thing was status quo for the time and place. it’s a shame he doesn’t take more flack for using the red scare to get even with former employees he held a grudge against.

  • ala

    I was interested in this article simply because when I was growing up I was never taken to Disneyland and my parents, my dad in particular, never bought into Disney culture because of what it represented in terms of American delusions and mass consumption, but also because he was under the impression that Disney disliked Catholics. There are also the character representations that the films used repeatedly after his death, with the villains always being dark-complected. I mean, generally purple-y but the idea of dark as bad is still there. Outside of that, I did of course watch all the movies anyway, but I was hoping this article would reference some sources that discuss reasons behind this long-standing notion of Walt himself having some sort of religious and cultural biases, since it clearly extends beyond just the recent influence of Robot Chicken and Family Guy. I was going to send it to my dad to say ‘See? Your notions were mistaken!’, but didn’t find the references quite convincing enough.

    • Funkybat

      I think the thing to take away from this discussion is that most rumors about people are either based on the skewed perceptions of specific individuals’ experiences with someone, or are just straight fabrications. Between the general sentiments of the American mass culture at the time, some people’s opinions of why they didn’t get a job/promotion, and people’s desire to insult or tarnish someone else’s reputation, there are certain to be rumors of one kind or another about any prominent figure. I think a lot of it is people bringing their own ideas to the equation.

      For instance, I have never heard anything anywhere about Walt Disney being anti-Catholic. Some mumblings about his “magical characters” being Satanic/anti-Christian, but that was mostly from religious-right extremists. But it goes to show that your father got the idea in his head anyway, either from some snippet of information that was then exaggerated, or just from whatever was available publicly. Those ideas were colored by his own views. That’s how it works with everyone and their conscious or unconscious biases. These ideas about Walt, or anyone, can just come out of nowhere in ways such as this. Now do we know 100% that Walt *wasn’t* against Catholics? No, but it’s hard to prove a negative, especially decades after someone’s gone. But there is no known evidence for it, so in absence of opposing evidence, what are we left with?

      That’s how I look at the whole “Walt hated Jews” thing; there is little real evidence for it. It may not be utterly disprovable, but it’s not very likely either, based on all available evidence. But rumors never die, especially now that we have the Internet.

  • Richard

    I don’t remember hearing anything about this until I came across your article. And after reading it, all I know is that the general opinion is that he was a racist, but you disagree. Hardly a good result, is it? Why would I believe you, rather than all those other people?

    Presumably you have good reasons for thinking they’re wrong. So why not share them with us? How about providing some verifiable references for your assertions?

  • John Tebbel

    Back to Cryogenics, I don’t know how it started, but I think Walt’s reputation as a futurist made it stick. If anyone would do it, it would be the guy who built the monorail and made Lincoln speak. Most of his output was the sort of thing Arthur C. Clarke was talking about in re advanced technology and magic.

    Excellent discussion otherwise, I must say.

    • Jeffrey Gray

      I like the intelligent analyses made here. You might be able to tell my politics from what I’m about to say, but I’m not out to pick a fight with those with whom I might disagree. I’m just presenting my take on it.

      A lot of this can be tied to the strike and the HUAC stuff, and the general disgust harbored by the cultural left toward Disney and the things they stand for.

      Quite a few of the people who were part of the strike and who left for other studios (particularly UPA) were Jewish and/or held left-of-center political beliefs (e.g. David Hilberman, who Walt singled out during the HUAC hearings). If Walt supposedly held grudges against them after the strike, these people could also hold grudges against Walt and against the Disney studio, whether substantiated or unsubstantiated. It’s no coincidence that Bill Melendez, who was part of the strike, would be interviewed for that “Secret Lives” thing – obviously he harbored bad blood for Disney from the experience of the strike. It’s no stretch to imagine a conception of Disney as an anti-Semitic fascist percolating among the more left-leaning Jewish strike veterans.

      Also, there tended to be, and still tends to be, a trend among the cultural left to view Disney as “reactionary.” The same supposed paranoiac mental association of unions, Jews and communism that these people tried to ascribe to Walt Disney (and tie together with the McCarthy/HUAC era) is a flip side of these same people’s own tendencies to harbor a mental image of people like Walt, and the cultural/political right, as sinister anti-Semitic, racist, McCarthyite/John Bircher crypto-fascists.

      Again, I don’t think it’s coincidence that a lot of the cultural left praised UPA (where a lot of the same left-leaning ex-Disney strikers ended up) and sneered at Disney. Richard Schickel’s “The Disney Version” seems to come from this left-wing school of cultural criticism.

      There is still an element of the American left who has a twisted conception of Disney as a vile behemoth of racism, sexism and capitalist greed. They talk about the “Aryan” features of Disney’s fantasy characters, accuse them of perpetuating sexist gender views and driving girls to anorexia with their princess franchise, accuse them of buying copyright extension legislation or feeding Third World labor exploitation, and so on and so forth. These people have also latched onto the “Walt Disney was an anti-Semite/racist/fascist” canard – it fits their own distorted demonization of Disney. After all, if Disney is evil, then it only makes sense that its founder was also evil.

      I don’t blindly view Walt as a saint, or the Disney company as free of blemishes. But I cannot stand the “Disney is evil” line I’ve had to put up with from fellow classmates in high school and college, or from various websites and blogs, and I’ve always been quite peeved by people who claim to be intelligent and progressive feeding this anti-Disney black legend, this Hollywood equivalent of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

      • Marbles471

        Thank you for that very cogent and rational comment.

        I am largely on the political left. But I know exactly the kind of people you’re talking about, and I cannot stand the kind of psuedo-intellectual circle jerking that lazy academics like to engage in and pass off as progressive cultural criticism. Many of the accusations that those factions level at Disney rely on extremely selective representation and willful ignorance of many relevant contexts.

        We can certainly have constructive conversations about popular culture from feminist, racial and other standpoints, but unfortunately many such efforts are marred by this kind of lazy ignorance—-the kind that turns Walt Disney into the Grand Imperial Wizard of the KKK and president of the He-Man Woman Haters Club. And also, even more ludicrously, lumps every single product released under the Disney label together as though they all represent some monolithic agenda—-regardless of who worked on them and during what period of time. It should embarrass people to be that badly misinformed.

  • An interesting assertion is made among the rest of the often-misinformed answers quoted in the original post: Was Mickey Mouse black?

    Well, if he was anything like Mighty Mouse, he was almost certainly Caucasian. My source for this is the Terrytoon where a little black sheep cries Wolf too many times and the wolf gets him. (I keep thinking it’s WOLF! WOLF!, but I also keep thinking I may be mistaken in this.) The key scene has the rest of the sheep, up on a hilltop, frickin’ PRAYING to Mighty Mouse, on their knees, wringing their hands… Trotters. Whatever.

    “Oh, please, Mister Mighty Mouse!” they plead fervently, “He may be a little black sheep, but in his heart, he’s just as white as you are!!”

    And if you can’t believe a cartoon sheep, who can you believe?

    • Jeffrey Gray

      Kind of off-topic, but the reference to Terrytoons and cartoon characters being black or not reminded me:
      A few years ago, I once found a rather detailed, scholarly website out there which talked about derogatory black stereotypes in American culture, and in the section on animation, they showed a picture of…Heckle and Jeckle.

      Yeah, I totally believe he actually watched Heckle and Jeckle’s cartoons, rather than looking at a single picture and immediately assuming they’re something like the black crows in Dumbo. And this person has a doctorate. Tying into my criticism of *educated* people buying into the “Walt Disney was a rabid anti-Semite/pro-Nazi fascist” line, this is yet another example of a person who claims to be intelligent and educated, but buys into something without doing proper research simply because, like Fox Mulder of the X-Files, they “want to believe.”

      (Fortunately, I checked the site recently, and the H&J image is gone. I haven’t been able to find that version of the page on Internet Archive, but the older crawls have a bunch of broken images. But I assure you, they were on that site at one point.)

  • Doin’ the Banana Split

    Wow, even though I’m not Jewish myself, I cannot believe it.

    In fact, count me in as one of the “naysayers”, because if you read the late Hanna-Barbera animator Iwao Takamoto’s autobiog “My Life with a Thousand Characters”, where it does mention on page 45 where Disney himself did hire a few Jews (namely Marc Davis, Ted Berman, and Art Babbitt, yet, no mention of the Sherman brothers). However, he was also staunchly anti-union, in spite of unionizing the studio due to the fallout of the 1941 animators’ labor strike. So just because he was anti-union (and most middle and working class Jews also happened to be pro-union at the time), doesn’t always necessarily mean he was anti-Semitic. Otherwise it would nothing but a gross generalization.

    However, while I do think it is important to be politically incorrect (and not always take yourself so seriously), I cannot help but feel dismayed at the attitudes of today’s young generation, where they take it to extremes to the point if they don’t care if they offend anybody (and the latter here also includes Seth Green, himself a reformed Jew, who is behind Robot Chicken and does voices for Family Guy).

  • Willow Ufgood

    I’d love to poll the young people with the following:

    Which of the following Americans was a known anti-Semite?

    A) Charles Lindbergh
    B) Henry Ford
    C) Walt Disney

    I’m betting most would answer C.

  • He was racist, Look
  • Alejandro

    Excuse me all, but why isn’t a stronger emphasis in the fact that all these quotes from online sources are taken from Yahoo Answers?

    I’m a scientist myself and I happen to have been between rolling on the floor and laugh, or die of sadness, upon stumbling into what this site has to offer to people asking questions. Me and my friends have for long observed the ridiculously bizarre kind of pseudo information you can find snooping around that site. The worse part is that search engines tend to put yahoo answers on top when you look for almost anything, and teenagers often use it as a place to recur for answers, even regarding serious concerns, like health issues and such, and what they get is another completely misinformed person giving an answer based on absolutely no educated background.
    The problem with the internet is that laws that apply to physical things don’t apply here, because lawyers are too retarded to actually understand how to cope with the new world and translate old law structures to the world of binary information, and because those who are not retarded are too corrupt to see a business in doing so.

  • Uncle Shlomo

    Walt Disney hired a plethora of talent who were of Jewish extraction. A search of the talent involved int he production of The Mickey Mouse Club in the 1950s revealed several high level talents hired by Walt.
    Doreen Tracey a Mouseketeer;
    Johnny Crawford a Mouseketeer;
    Roberta Shore and actress in MMC serials;

    Sid Miller actor and director of the Mickey Mouse; he was the principal director of the Mouseketeer segments;

    William Lava Serial Theme Composer

    Larry Orenstein Songwriter and Scenarist

    This was one short search for one TV show, so there were scores of other Jewish talent and technicians hired by Disney in his animated features, live action movies, cartoon shorts, Disneyland and Disney World, and everything else he produced.

    The only conclusion one can come to is that it is a loathsome thing the Disney detractors do when they bear false witness against this man. They reveal themselves to be simply LIARS and Slanderers they are, and should never be believed in anything they say.

    • BC

      so because he allowed them to work for him….hence making him money….that means he isn’t racist? LOL You need to realize what racism is before you comment. The fact Walt has been called a racist has nothing to do with whom he hired or chose to work with. It has nothing to do with any modern day TV shows either, as this blogger would like you to believe. It has been around since at least the early 90’s when I was growing up. If the blogger or yourself want to prove he was not a racist, then you need more solid evidence. But you will never ever find it. Who keeps things around showing they arent racist? Unless he had a picture of Malcolm X on his office wall….then this story is useless as much as the evidence this blogger gave us.

      • Andrew Sindler

        I am so sick of the its okay to be a moron, anti-intellectual attitude of the majority of Americans. Answer this question. What EVIDENCE or research do you to prove him a bigot? HUH? Show me your facts. I hear thousands and thousands of lies or fabrications believed and argued to be truth every year on the internet and all it tells me is that delusionality is its own proof for anything and everything. Tell me how Walt Disney was a bad man and give reasons that contain substance.

        If I hear that you heard your friend say he was a bigot or you heard a rumor claiming he was but don’t even slightly know the source then I’m just going to respond with I heard a rumor that the Earth is only few thousand years old and their is an alien race called the Reptiloids controlling the Illuminati in an effort to have the EU and Federal Reserve take over the world. Because that’s what you people who say he is a bigot without proof sound like. A bunch of nuts and malcontents whose opinions mirror and compare to the insanity of creationists and NWO conspiracy theorists. Take your hysteria down a few notches and use some new found sobriety to present your solid proof of his bigotry against Jews.

        Prove it or CLOSE YOUR MOUTHS AND BE SILENT. The man as far as many can tell was wonderful and a true gift to the world. And unless you can really define some thing that he did that was evil all you are doing is being a bunch of malicious misanthropes who think iconclasty of Disney and other dead white men is noble because it destroys history and tradition and since their is evil in the past destroying all traditionally cherished parts of it is righteous. Ignorance is not righteous or good and moral. Quite the opposite.

  • Derek

    Alright, I’ll ask. How do you explain the crows in Dumbo? No matter how you try to look at it, that’s pretty damned racist.

    • Cliff Williams

      Unfortunate sign of times. Are you saying that the producers and writers of Loony Tunes and Tom and Jerry were racist? I bought my grandson a Tom and Jerry collection because he was a big fan. it has an introduction by Woopie Goldberg that is very touching as she speaks of Mammy Two Shoes and she never accuses the producers and writers of racism. She only points out that using “racial stereotypes” in comedy was a common practice at the time these films were made.

  • In his autobiography, childrens book author & illustrator BILL PEET recounts how, while employed by Walt Disney to help design the war propaganda cartoon DONALD DUCK IN NUTZI LAND (1943), he purposefully drew Hitler to look like Walt Disney.

    You can see the film here:

  • Wow, there isn’t much of substance here. The blogger, unhappy about negative media portrayals of his hero, goes to an authorized source for aid and comfort. He dismisses the idea that any criticism of Disney is informed. It certainly appears there’s a lot of nonsense on the web from kids about Disney, but it could be that actual information has trickled out from informed sources. The author of Dark Prince at least claims to rely on hundreds of pages of FBI documents; what sort of rebuttal based on primary documents is offered here? I don’t see anything – to try to make it appear that all criticism is based on TV cartoons is nice slight of hand, but not a real argument.

    • Eric R.

      So you’re not really saying the author of Dark Prince has any proof just him claiming to rely on pages of FBI documents? Anybody can claim shit like that.

  • allegorithm

    I think this an important idea to discuss, but I was a bit disappointed with this post. We get the idea that the Yahoo answers community is filled with morons (otherwise they wouldn’t need to be there), was it really necessary to compile such an extensive collection of the same dumb question being asked? Very little of this post shows any evidence to refute the claims that Walt was an anti-semite.

  • Rob

    WALT DISNEY WAS NO ANTISEMIT! He was good friends with the Sherman Brothers (“Mary Poppins”), for example. These rumours are just ridiculous…

  • Andrew Bailey

    One theory I have is that one of Disney’s Donald Duck Cartoons was about Donald living in Germany during WWII. The hut that he was living in was cast around Hitler’s insignia, and Donald was basically living in the conditions that other people in Germany were going through at the time, such as only having to dip just a teaspoon into a mug of water, sawing a slice of bread that was as hard as wood, and then having Mein Kampf shoved into your face. He was then being forced to work in a factory making bomb shells while also saluting a picture of Hitler everytime he saw one, all at the same time.

    I think people saw it, and the immature ones understood his being sympathetic, but totally misconstrued the whole matter entirely; he understood the kind of poverty hell the German commoners were going through, but they all thought that he sympathized with Hitler’s beliefs.

    For God’s sake, Bugs Bunny put on a Hitler Stache one time, and no one was riding up Chuck Jone’s ass for THAT!

    • people are idioticly sensitive the same people that have issues with these cartoons (which were obviously very ANTINAZI) point towards mickey lighting a cigarette with a swastika adorned lighter in another cartoon as proof, completely ignoring the fact that said cartoon was made far before the nazi party rose to power when the swastika was still seen as a symbol of peace and unity in this country. as somone who is half blackfoot indian and half norwiegan and somone who has done quite a bit of study on the swastika and it’s origin i can tell you that pre-worldwar 2 the swastika did not have any negative intonations whatsoever and i think it’s disgusting and ignorant that such a beautiful and graceful symbol of life, death, rebirth peace and unity has been demonized so thourghly. It proves that at least in one instance as small as it seems to some, the nazi scum have won. a thourgh examination of Disney’s work and life shows him as perhaps insensitve (but who says great art need be sensitive..i would say quite the contrary) but an antisemetic or a racist? No, not at all. theres nothing at all to point in that direction. i think people need to take a good look at cartoons of the era and realize virtually all of them had “racial humor” in fact we see it today in everything as well the only difference is it’s all one sided towards whites and other non protected races like native americans because in this society it’s apparently ok to make fun of everyone except black people, which in and of itself is racist. at least disney had the grace to make fun of everyone.

  • Saad

    Wouldn’t you think that it would be in the best interests of the Disney Museum to not portray him as anti-Semitic? How would they even qualify for an effective source to base on opinion on?

    Also there are several more instances of fascism in his work that you have failed to comment upon, but instead go on to discuss his portrayal by TV shows?

    This article does not have me convinced.

  • Laura

    Sorry to be such a killjoy but I’m afraid I have several issues with the comments you have made in this article and some comments of others. Firstly, as a sixteen year old, I find it quite offensive that you all have such little faith in my generation. You may have seen evidence of easily influenced young people, but it’s completely unfair to blame a particular age group when I can guarantee there are plenty of uncultured, uneducated and ignorant adults who would have believed these rumours too.
    Secondly, the Family Guy issue. I take it that you’re not a fan of their humour; but I can also assume that you’re not a frequent viewer. If you were to watch it more often, you may pick up on the fact that it is satirical. The joke is so ridiculous that it reflects the absurdity of the idea of Disney being anti-Semitic. I highly doubt the clip you have provided was made to intentionally make people believe that Walt Disney was a Nazi supporter; the joke is simply making fun of the idiotic rumour that has been spread over the internet. Don’t blame perfectly intelligent writers for other people’s inability to take a joke.

    • Except your argument goes completely out the window as the rest of the article is sourced from Yahoo! Answers of people asking if it’s true. People take references they see on TV as fact. Just because you think you’re smarter than that doesn’t make it happen any less often.

      • Felipe Ahmed

        I can collect a bunch of yahoo answers print screens and prove anything if that’s was a source of anything. Laura’s comment was showing the generalization towards an entire generation. Citing a bunch of questions on yahoo answers as “source” or proof is completely ridiculous.

    • Ger

      The fact that you view The Family Guy as a satire on exstreme opinions doesn’t mean others do. Reed Karon Engel’s comment again. Or the other one about someone saying his black and jewish friends belief Walt Disney was a racist. What answer do you have to them other than ‘don’t be so stupid’?

    • Jackie Jormpjomp

      Wrong. MacFarlane has given interviews over the years completely trashing not only Walt Disney but the company in general. He had aspired to work there but ended up an animator at Hanna Barbera instead. He has made vocal claims about his belief that Walt was a racist and an anti-Semite. His three shows have made dozens of jabs at Disney (most recently an entire episode of American Dad the parodied Disneyland and portrayed a Walt like character as a sexist, racist power mad nutjob. MacFarlane’s shows are often very funny, but they reflect his public and vocal accusations that make him seem like a jilted and disturbed prom date.

  • El

    This article really made me mad. Anyone that would deny that Walt Disney was anti-semetic has clearly not done their research. As one of the biggest Disney fans anyone will ever meet, of course I don’t want to label Disney as an anti-Semite, but HE IS. THERE IS PROOF. LOOK IT UP PEOPLE. Let me just provide one example. If Walt Disney wasn’t anti-Semetic, then why was he so buddy buddy with Leni Riefenstahl? If you don’t know who that is, she was Adolph Hitler’s personal friend, along with the creator of all of the propaganda oriented films that she specifically created to make Hitler seem like a saint along with someone that should be worshipped. Leni Riefenstahl was close to Hitler and clearly knew something about all of those people who were slaughtered through his evil hands. She was an anti-semite who made films in order to brainwash people to follow Hitler into the eugenics of his own country. How does Disney relate to this? He supported those films created by Leni, helping her publicize her evil documentaries. He met up with her a few times and worked closely with her. That is ONE of many documented relationships that Disney had with an anti-semite. So, before you post something as stupid as this, make sure you know your stuff. I just completed a 4 month college class on this. I think that’s a little more credible than someone finding random links online to try and prove something that is wrong.

    • Ray

      Walt Disney was also close friends with Seirge Eisenstine, a Jewish Communist homosexual filmmaker. Does that make him a Communist? Disney was also commissioned by the U.S. government to make anti-Nazi propaganda, but the government later banned the film because it made Nazis too scary.

      • moishe pippick

        Mickey, Unca Walt, and Lenin’s favorite filmmaker.

  • FapMastaWong

    Come on guys we all know Disney and Hitler are frozen and stored under area 51 with all the aliens pfft

  • Thomas

    Disney was virtually the only non-jewish major player in Hollywood for many decades. His films, for many years, were a reflection of the traditional values of European Americans – in contrast with the generally pro-miscegenation, pro-communism, pro-black and pro-jewish attitudes traditionally espoused by jewish Hollywood. This of course changed when Disney entered the Eisner era in the 1980s. Now Disney is as jewish and implicitly anti-European as all other mainstream media content providers.

    The creators of Robot Chicken and the writers of Family Guy are jews. Of course they’re going to vilify white people who do not or did not openly advocate jewish doctrines. That is one of the main purposes of media content at the present day: to advocate specific forms of social change and to vilify and denigrate opponents of this social change. The media shapes attitudes in order to support the demographic changes that are currently underway in North America and Europe.

    • moishe pippick

      ok, there is something far worse than mistakenly believing Disney was an anti-Semite: it’s the vile BS displayed above by “Thomas”.

  • Annelise

    I don’t know enough about Disney’s life to comment on his moral character, but I do find it inappropriate that this article demonizes satirical comedies (i.e. Family Guy and Robot Chicken) as the sole cause of opinions that Disney may have been a bigot.
    These shows are no more than they claim to be: they’re just comedies, and often inappropriate ones at that. Both of these shows deliberately joke about exaggerated and absurd things all the time, and anyone who would try to take any of their buffoonery as serious fact clearly is misinformed about the nature of absurd comedy. (I.e. “I saw a chicken as big as a full-grown man on Family Guy; is it true that they get that big?”)
    This article seemed to ignore the real debatable reasons that people might see Disney as having been a racist/fascist/antisemitic/ect: the various original documents that make the statements.
    Again, I reserve judgment about the actual nature of Walt Disney’s character, but I do feel that this article was aiming firing at the wrong targets, so to say.

  • Melonna

    I still haven’t seen anything in this post that proves or disproves that Walt was an anti-semite or a racist. Lets talk about ho Mickey and Minnie became so popular after he originally designed them as protagonists.

  • Alooga

    [Comment removed by editors. Per our commenting guidelines, “Defamatory, rude, or unnecessarily antagonistic comments will be deleted.”]

  • Kris B

    I don’t know why he would POSSIBLY be called a racist or a Jew hater. Could it be because he produced things like this? http://www.momentsintime.com/Disney%20Book%20Page.htm

    And he was an asshole to his employees so they had no problem telling people who walt disney really was. Before you defend someone like this maybe you should do a little research.


    the real anti semetic stuff starts at 5:30.

    • Solar

      You do know, this is a British/Canadian publication, and not one excerpt or pic has been published to date, only hype by the seller.

      Look at the seal in the lower left.


      • BC

        but if no pic has been released…..how did you get this pic? =P

  • Anonymous

    This controversy is EXACTLY like the whole “Was Michael Jackson a pedophile” or “Was Hitler Jewish” type of thing. We all should just drop it because the only people who will ever know are those men themselves. Only Walt will know if Walt was an anti-Semite. Only Hitler will know if Hitler was Jewish. Only Michael will know if Michael was a pedophile.

  • Andrew

    Nope, family guy is dumb. Badly written, metaphors so poor they all require an animation to explain them and jokes that are recycled from other cartoons. I recommend you watch the south park episode on how family guy isn’t funny and is badly written. I wish more people would watch American Dad but many people don’t seem to like comedy that requires a brain to understand the jokes, these days. :(

    • BC

      Did you just reference south park…after stating how Family guy steals jokes from other shows?!??! South Park was a cheap knock off of Beavis and Butthead. And to reference any cartoon as your way of trying to show your smarter….is fucking silly!

  • J Tremain

    The so called truth movement is a veritable hive of fundamentalist disinformation regarding the man Walt Disney that is reaching bizzare proportions which perpetually goes unchecked.. The least of which is that He was a freemason…a Rothschild…a nazi …a communist etc etc..While there is no question that modern media and corporations are an outlet for social engineering…the level of ignorance and disinformation about Walt the man is reaching epidemic proportions…Recently a fundamentalist rang into the Clyde lewis show crying because he caught his daughter watching the quote “evil freemason Sleeping Beauty movie”…connecting the name Aurora with the mass shooting (you see?)…While the MK ultra program has been documented that doesnt mean that every mind control victim is speaking factually (Brice Taylor’s outrageous accusations re Walt Disney never never get challenged!)…Even as a fan of alternative media I am disgusted by the fact that the likes of Freeman and Jamie Hanshaw have achieved notioriety by preaching the most heinous accusations- Walt Disney a Rothschild…part of the MKultra illuminati program..A freemason…a pedophile (see Brice Taylor mind control) etc etc that never never get fact checked or challenged…See many accusations made by Freeman and Jamie Hanshaw to cite an example.

  • Enviousdominous

    Strange that Walt is being demonized as a Nazi. When I was a child I watched Disney cartoons that depicted Nazi soldiers as being blind, hate filled and cruel. They reasonably criticised Hitler and his closest officers, suggesting that under Nazi rule the people would be oppressed. I doubt that an anti-semite would produce cartoons mocking the most anti-semitic political party in history.

    • vicksome

      That cartoon about Nazi’s was not something walt decided to do off the cuff- his whole studio was “strongly encouraged” by the U.S. Government to reroute their resources for propaganda. It was propaganda to support the war effort, it was forced. He was being used by the government-it’s no indication of personal preference or morality.

  • if he wasn’t racist then why are there little to no disney characters who are either black or jewish the only disney character i know of that is black and a main character in their movie is that idiotic new princess from the princess and the frog which i don’t even accept as a true disney princess since she’s not from the ariel, cinderella, snow white, etc era

    • Willard Magnus

      Probably because Disney cartoons and movies (particularly those made in Uncle Walt’s lifetime, but since you brought up Tiana I suppose those made after) reflected, or attempted to reflect, how America saw itself. Regardless of how the Republic itself was at the time, the image you received over the radio, in the theatre, and in print was that of a white, Christian/Protestant, middle-class, small-town/rural/suburban nation, with ethnic minorities either being ignored or presented as stereotypes and played for laughs. Why this is is beyond me, and probably needs to be researched. Also: What is this “ariel, cinderella, snow white, etc era” of which you speak? Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs premiered in 1937; Cinderella, 1950. The Little Mermaid?Nineteen-effing-Eighty-effing-Nine, brother. At least do some research before you gripe on an animation website. This crap may fly on YouTube, but not on the Brew.

      • jussayin

        I would assume the era he refers to covers the entire library of Disney animated “classics.” But I also am not playing dumb for the sake of arguing.

    • lehahiah81

      That’s probably due to the fact most of the princesses were based off stories from Grimm tales or charles Perrault’s stories. So the characters were being based off a description from a story which already existed, and also have to take into consideration the time period and where the movie is taking place.

      Though personally for me the thing is for me I’d rather have something that I want not be there, than just thrown in to shut me up if you can understand that. Alot of times things that we want get thrown into things, but they weren’t meant to be there so they just seem out of place is all I’m saying.

  • Ashley

    i feel weird at college because everyone thinks that Disney was racist. I want to prove them wrong, but no one seems to care anyway. Even if i did, they would look at me like I was some little kid. I respect the man and I loved working there for an internship. At least I know I’m right in wanting to know the truth instead of going for what everyone else thinks.

    • BC

      wow….I hope you put more thought into your college work than you just did in your argument to prove he isn’t racist. The problem here is that no one here posting really knows what racism is….

      • moishe pippick

        Then teach us, oh enlightened one!

  • you might be wrong
    • Solar

      Are you really that gullible?
      I remember this video from more than 4 decades ago, I also remember how women praised Walt for giving them a job when most business had no use for women employees.

  • I have proof Walt Disney was NOT an ani-Jew and what we considered racist. First of all, in the Donald Duck short “Der Fuehrer’s Face” and the intense short “Education For Death” they were making fun of the Nazis and saying how cruel they were; thus proving that Walt Disney wasn’t with the Nazis. Also, in the opening of Disneyland, he made it a point to have a Christian pastor (nephew), a JEWISH rabbi, and another religious leader be standing next to him. Finally, if you ever see a stereo typical negro in an OLD Disney short, that doesn’t mean Disney was racist. In those times, blacks were used for comical parts but that wasn’t considered racist. It was considered normal. Any questions?

    • jussayin

      Was slavery racist? Or just normal for the time?
      Besides wanting jews to spend money in your theme park has no bearing on racism. Just your greed os stronger than your racism.
      The fact he never had a black protagonist is enough for me.

      • BC

        Wait….wasn’t Mickey black? =P

    • Truth

      Caleb Wilson, that is the worst argument ever. Just because he made these shorts does NOT mean he supported these ideas. If you did any research into why he made these shorts, it was not because he was against Nazi’s, it was because his movie Fantasia almostrupted his company, and the only “company” willing to invest in him was the OnlyU.S. Government/Military who gave him 4500.00 per propaganda video he made, and had a ccontract to make 30+ videos, which actually saved his studio. How many big business’s have sold out just to ensure that they keep their success going? Also many companies have hired individuals that they never would have just so they can place an image that all idiots who do not actually think for themselves will believe. If you look past the videos and raunchy comedies, there is much proof, testament, and FACT tl the movies he made did not represent who he was in any way. They were just the way he found to make money. And everyone out there who says just because he left being behind one of the most recognized names and labels of our time, we should just give him his props and leave him alone. Well there were many big names out there that are directly associated with their field. Michael Jackson for instance, is probably the biggest name in music and did all these shows for charity and seemed so innocent, but come to it, helwas one of the biggest pedophiles of our time. Just goes to show you that if you have money, you can cover up anything you want, while still portraying yourself any way you’d like. And we all know that Walt Disney ended up having no shortage of money at all. Do research and quit citing article you all read. Check actual documents and even check public records. That’s where your truth is. Put two and two together people. And for those who may say those records are just the government trying to throw his name in the mud, what kind of things was he actually doing for our government to do that.

    • BC

      so you admit he was a racist? Just because it was considered normal….doesn’t make it alright. LMAO you just shot yourself in the foot…nice try but you fail!

  • Dario

    An unconvincing article, in which you basically join a few dots of your own choosing and declare it an accurate picture. Your evidence amounts to nothing more than personal assertion and the erroneous conclusion that anti-Disney cartoons were the cause, rather than the effect. The rumours about Disney existed long before either of the shows you mentioned ever existed.

  • Jaina

    So I’m learning about WWII in school, and we actually watched a Disney cartoon called “Der Fuhrer’s Face”. The one with Donald as a Nazi. This cartoon is a lot of the reason people call Disney a Jew. If you think that, then you obviously didn’t understand the cartoon. Everyone was putting stuff like this out during the war. Warner Bros did too. The cartoon is a propaganda cartoon to make sure that all Americans hated Hitler, not Jews. It was showing how miserable it was being a Nazi and how obsessed they were with Hitler. At the end, Donald wakes up from his nightmare of being a Nazi and says something like, “I am so lucky to be a citizen of the United States of America!” This cartoon was not Disney supporting Nazis and Hitler. It was actually the opposite.

  • its not a rumor, there is plenty of paraphernalia out there where he uses the n word, some of his cartoons were banned from newspapers because of it

  • Kyle

    Family Guy is freaking hilarious.

  • wtfbingo

    We get the idea from stuff like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pmrp4WxiB58

    Pretty incriminating stuff from former employees. The sexism thing is especially true and well known to those in the animation scene.

  • Pumpkinburgers

    Oh god, tell me about it!

    And here I used to think Family Guy was one of the less horrible ones. But then again, that’s probably only because I was comparing it to South Park. Even Ren & Stimpy looks intelligent compared to that one!

    But speaking of South Park, there’s an example of something entirely built upon character assassination. Phil Collins and Al Gore are two notable examples there. The stupid kids who watch this show actually think it’s intelligent or even the slightest bit accurate, even the college-educated ones!

    Character assassination applies to more than just people, but places as well. It’s disturbing just how many young people actually believe that beaches in New Jersey are littered with needles, or that the entire state has some sort of omnipresent stench from the toxic waste dumps that serve as homes. Where the fuck does anyone get these ideas; and more importantly, how is someone stupid enough to actually believe them?!

    I swear that movie “Idiocracy” is by far the most accurate depiction of the far future that assumes humanity even manages to survive that long.

  • Credible Source

    Is Yahoo! Answers your only source to disprove Walt Disney from being racist? Family Guy and Robot Chicken are not the only sources exploiting Mr. Disney’s racism. There are a number of accounts proving otherwise. Racism is an ideology and it is very hard to accredit to anyone’s characteristics but I am sure that the writers of the two familiar television shows are not the only people who believe that Walt Disney had some racist beliefs.

  • dontworryaboutit

    I like how you point the finger at family guy and robot chicken when they are completely satirical. have you ever watched an episode of family guy? they make fun of everything that is wrong with the world. the fact that they put disney in a cryogenic chamber only to have him wake up and ask if the jews are gone if proof they think that notion is ridiculous. if you want to blame someone blame the idiot children who soak this bull in, the ones who go to yahoo answers to have their questions answered for them because they are too lazy to do their own damn research. wait lets not blame the children! how about their idiot parents who never bothered to teach them a damn thing. the ones who put them in front of a tv, or put them in front of a computer, who took a family trip to go see some retarded movie like the croogs rather than to a museum.

  • wtfbingo

    You are clearly putting words in my mouth.

    I SAID that this video is where people get those ideas.

    I ALSO said that people in animation know that it is insanely dominated by men, to a degree where sexism is most definitely considered.

    I didn’t say he hated women. I didn’t say he didn’t put women to work in the war. I’m simply showing you WHY people think some of the things that they think.

    And it’s obvious that you didn’t watch the video to the end, as it also touches on his racism.

    Nice try– oh. I’m sorry. Sarcasm.

    • You get the idea and then you latch onto them even when evidence arises that demonstrates an entirely different side. Don’t stand there and try to pretend “Well know I’m just saying we got the IDEA”. You got the presumption, or else you wouldn’t be so defensive now would you?

      Having an idea would imply you did further research. And again, you clearly haven’t.

      • wtfbingo

        Look, Kindra. I’m not latching on to anything. I’m being defensive because you took everything I said WAY out of line. Your pedestrian use of sarcasm is a blatant attempt to agitate for the sake of starting an argument.

        So I must ask, why are YOU so defensive? I can only assume that you must be pretty flustered with your inability to fathom that someone in a pre-civil rights world might have some racist and sexist tendencies. So much so that you get to the point of putting words in the mouths of others… and proclaim that the only reason one would defend oneself against such slander is because said person believes your blown-out-of-proportion nonsense response?

        My word, such juvenile tactics to use for such a grown woman.

        At this point in a conversation with someone like you, I usually walk away. It is no use for me to argue with someone who employs such petty tactics when on the other hand has this misconception that they are having some sort of adult conversation. But your brain obviously functions at some sort of debilitated level that you would simply instead assume victory in an argument that YOU began.

        The use of the word “idea” is broadly defined, from a concrete opinion to a fleeting notion. These ideas that Walt was racist/sexist comes from, not only well-documented stories from people working for Walt, but also from his films. Peter Pan and Dumbo have some wildly racist insinuations in some of their songs and themes. Not to mention the now infamous inclusion of an ugly black servant centaur in Fantasia… as comedic relief.

        But go ahead and start acting like these things pop up out of nowhere, and if it makes you feel better to believe that, simply because someone has concluded that Walt may have been racist and sexist on some level, they believe that he killed women and blacks and locked the bodies in their basement (see! overexaggeration and sarcasm. Do you get it??!?!?!) Then by all means: whatever helps you sleep at night.

      • Guest

        Ha! So my comment was moderated out because it was too scathing and accurate. Too much to write over again.

        But, girl. You have a lot of self-reflection to do if all you can do is put words in other people’s mouths to make your fickle arguments. THEN you try to define an idea as fact and completely disregard that ideas are also defined as simple notions.

        Walt was notorious for incorporating racist/sexist concepts into his films. Peter Pan and Dumbo have some extremely racist scenes (not to mention the stupid, ugly, black, SERVANT centaur in Fantasia intended as comic relief). But if you can’t see that those things are insensitive, then you probably need to re-examine your own views about race.

        Any logical human being can attribute this to the overall racist ideas of the era. But that doesn’t mean that he WASN’T. Blaming it on a timeframe only PROOVES that he was.

        Good luck with whatever nonsense is going on in your head. You definitely need it.

  • Okay


    “Gabler doesn’t dwell on well-known allegations, such as the idea that Disney was a racist (he thought hiring African Americans would “have spoiled the illusion at Disneyland”) and anti-Semitic (a reputation due largely to his membership in an executive organization that was famously hostile to Jews)”

  • Ariana

    The thing is, I heard that Walt Disney was racist. I also heard that he was anti-semantic and that he supported Hitler in the war. However, I didn’t hear any of this from ‘Family Guy’ or ‘Robot Chicken’ (I really don’t like those shows). I heard it from my own history teacher. So of course, me being a 13 year old girl, I’m going to believe what my teachers told me. I however did notice that it just didn’t sound ‘right’ to me. The racist part made sense, practically everyone was racist at the time in one way or another and perhaps he did support Hitler at one point as most Americans did because Hitler was ‘anti-communist’. The thing that still confuses me though, is why would my teacher blatantly say to the whole class that Hitler was ‘racist’ and ‘anti-semantic’?

  • p

    Sir with all due respect, I was waiting for some cited sources that would disprove these allegations but all I see are quotes from Yahoo answers and prejudicial cheap shots at modern animation. I am sure it would be very difficult to find this evidence, however I have read quite a bit of material (peer reviewed, not from the internet) that he was a fierce Union Buster and his writers and animators worked under awful conditions. Racism and anti semitism have historically gone hand in hand with anti union wealthy folk in the early 1900s. not that I am jumping to conclusions but your article really does not convince me of anything except that you dislike young people and Adult Swim.

  • Sanju

    This is an idiotic article. If he was anti-Semitic to a lesser degree than what he is popularly portrayed to be, that doesn’t suddenly mean that “Walt Disney was not a Jew-hater”.

  • Madeline

    does it even matter if he was

  • AnonymousArizonan

    “Combine the endemic laziness of animation writers with an every-child-left-behind educational system…”
    That’s when I stopped reading, the point when it became clear the author is an idiot.
    First off, intellect does not come from education. You can push and pass someone barely functional enough to not be in a wheelchair, and the person is still retarded. And, that’s not far off from graduates of formal education systems’ average story. They might not usually be retarded… But, they are stupid, and they don’t comprehend the material they memorize.
    Second off… Walt Disney is not someone taught about in our education system, and nor should he be. This came to mind first, and is so utterly retarded of the author that I declare him/her unreliable, and worth ignoring.
    Not like I’m surprised… The wiki page on the referenced book says other authors dispute it’s claims, but not that anyone has disproven them. Further, Disney is STILL racist to this day. Not many characters in Disney animated films aren’t European, are they? One real Chinese film (it’s cheap sequel is racist)… One African-American film, which is racist… Two featuring an Amerindian who prefers European men, and who ultimately conforms to Britain… Diversity added to the Tinkerbell series just to appeal to girls of more races, despite it’s out of place in that series. They call Mulan a princess, including her in the Disney Princess collection, just for diverse appeal, despite we should all know Mulan is not royal, and doesn’t marry royal either. (Numerous others are only royal by marriage.)
    Disneyland… Disney World… The special Disney neighborhood/town… Disney cruise… This stuff is advertise for those of European descent in particular, and designed specifically for them.

    There’s more skeletons in the closet than racism. Most of the animated films tell your kid to aspire to be, or choose to marry a gold digger, whether male or female. Many Cinderellas/Aladdins there be. Few films pair a prince and princess. Or, even a prince/princess with a noble. Also, you don’t tend to see a king/queen as a main character, despite they can be young, and have interesting stories. It’s always got to be the prince/princess for some reason.
    And, almost all of them teach your daughter to marry for one wrong
    reason, or another. (Rebellion, Stockholm Syndrome, gold digging,
    because he’s a prince (social reward/cool factor), etc.) And, to marry between the ages of fifteen, and twenty. And, to prefer older men.
    The Lion King? It has incest, and inbreeding. Nala and Simba are half-siblings. And, Kiara and Kovu are first-cousins. The inbreeding might have something to do with how Kiara is Simba and Nala’s only living cub.
    Then, in Brave… She so far has no guy at all, despite that’s bad. Of course, she’s a bit young, so a good sequel where she meets “a catch” to pick for her husband would be very good.
    Tinkerbell series… They don’t have babies. They’re born from human babies. But, they have two sexes, which clearly do have sex, as they both exist, are attracted to eachother, and partner/marry… But, they’re apparently sterile. Having to rely upon… Babies laughing… It’s rather reminiscent of a creepy society of infertile clones. And, the women outnumber the men to the extremes.
    More on Tinkerbell… Her romance has become a ‘just friends’ dead end. And, she’s far more interested in doing dangerous things that get her into trouble. Worst role model ever for daughters. She discourages the family having another generation, and encourages your daughter ending up in prison or dead.
    Yet more Tinkerbell series… All of their lives evolve around work. Work they are assigned at birth, and are not allowed to deviate from, or not fulfill. The Tinkerbell series… Is highly Communist. You can’t say it’s just that way to appeal to girls. Careers do not appeal to girls. No love life does not appeal to girls. Getting in trouble, and doing dangerous things do not appeal to girls. Not being able to have a baby when they grow up does not appeal to girls. It is straight-up intentional propaganda to indoctrinate children.

    I’m sure there’s more and more to type. Disney is far from innocent, or perfect. Anyone arguing that Walt Disney was free of racism without actually knowing is probably working for Disney. Otherwise, a moron living in a fantasy land where there is no such thing as propaganda.

  • AnonymousArizonan

    That is false. It’s as untrue about Mickey and Minnie as any other lead males, and lead females in any other fictional work. Very often it’s supporting characters, or even antagonists who are more popular.
    In fact, J.K. Rowling actually committed extreme character inaccuracies in the last few Harry Potter books because Harry Potter was not popular, while the characters she ruined were (Ron Weasley, Remus Lupin, Severus Snape (ruined in book 7)).
    The only time I’ve seen someone favor, or like Mickey and/or Minnie is when they take to being told to do so by someone else. I’ve never known of someone actually liking the mice. There’s not really much to like.

    • moishe pippick

      Tell that to my 2 year old daughter! From sun up to sun down she’s ‘I want to watch Mickey’ […Mouse Clubhouse, that is].

  • John H. Holliday

    The anti-American libs will do anything to smear a patriotic American… and that’s what they’ve done to, and still are doing to Walt Disney.

    • moishe pippick

      Hey I’m a liberal and I hate the misinformation re: Disney too (and I love America, too). Don’t turn this into some ‘culture wars’ thing.

  • John H. Holliday

    Walt Disney was a great man and a great American.

  • John H. Holliday

    Disney a racist? Ridiculous! He produced the most anti-slavery motion picture of all time.

  • Anonymous11235

    The discussion after somebody claimed that Walt Disney was anti-semitic is quite amusing. When the quality of the sources proving that he was is scrutinized the persons often rely on argument ad ignorantiam, e.g. “There is no proof that he wasn’t anti-semitic”. I prefer to answer that there is no proof that God exists(/doesn’t exist).

  • ThereIveSaidIt

    The onus is not upon anyone to prove that Walt Disney wasn’t racist. “Innocent until proven guilty” is one of the cornerstones of modern civilized society. Can you prove that you’re not a pedophile? In the meantime, is it OK to presume that you are?

  • Jay Chavis

    why are there no strong Jewish or black characters, the closest to a Jewish character is Ron Stoppable, and the black princess spent most of the movie as a frog and married a man with an disputed ethnicity, so this image creates that popular notion that Disney is ethnocentric

  • John Keats

    That’s too generalizing of a statement to make, you have to understand that not everyone in our generation does drugs, sleeps around, and ruins their own lives. At worst, someone in our generation would live a boring life in suburbia. You’ve only been exposed to a very small percentage of teenagers. Another thing that I have to argue, what’s bad about drugs? I personally don’t have an issue with anyone else’s decision to ingest a psychoactive compound, it’s their own decision. The only thing that needs to change is our drug policy, but that’s another story. Your cynicism is highly unnecessary, I hope that soon you have more faith in lifeforms that are of generally average intelligence.

  • AmidAmidi

    That is indeed the real Floyd Norman. He’s a regular contributor to the comments on Cartoon Brew. He also posts stories on his personal blog: http://floydnormancom.squarespace.com

    • Joe

      I have no idea why people are picking on a man who died 50 years ago. If Disney was indeed a racist, most people of his time who were white men were no different. I would wager other famous personalities of the 20th Century were just as racist. I do not think Disney ever admired Hitler. The definition of a “Racist” in 2014 would be different from someone who lived in the middle of the 20th Century.
      Disney created fantasy that young people over many decades came to love and enjoy, he set the stage for modern day popular culture. Today many children around the world and of different races, religions, and cultures know Mickey Mouse.
      The interesting thing today is that many prominent Disney employees are Jewish. Kosher food is even available at Disney parks.
      The Disney name will forever be associated with spreading joy while the name of Hitler will be associated with misery.

  • Name

    just becuz someone works with someone doesn’t mean they have to like him

  • vince
  • Tribunaldude

    This may be a difficult concept for you to grasp, but : the burden of solid proof is not on the defender(s). Once the claimants have solid evidence (not just claims on having seen FBI documents) it is then the defender’s job to come up with a rebuttal.

    So far we haven’t seen any convincing proof that Disney’s racial opinions differed from those of the majority of people in his time, other than personal opinions and Robot Chicken/FG blurbs. Once we see that, its the defenders turn to come up with a convincing rebuttal, again not just personal opinions.

  • Jeanne Tomlin

    That Disney was anti-Semitic was ‘completely unfounded’? That could only come from someone who has never watched the early Disney cartoons that contain blatant anti-Semitic stereotypes. Watch the 1933 ‘Three Little Pigs’ for an example.

    Edited to add: That one is easily found on Youtube. Disney employed Jews. That didn’t keep him from being a member of an openly anti-Semitic organization (the MPAPI which is easy to confirm–it was and is no secret that he was a member) and including some very unpleasant stereotypes in his productions.

  • C. Scott Relleve

    Stupidity and misinformation is something that is present in ALL generations. I’m not saying that to spread the blame; It’s just that the supposed dumb and misinformed population and their opinions are more visible now than ever before thanks to the internet.

    I’m quite certain older generations has their fair share of the most idiotic things they believe in, but we don’t see them as much anymore since they’re not really the majority internet users.

    The internet made transmitting information many more times faster than ever before, but this comes with the price of having the biggest “telephone game” (a childhood playground game) ever played, as pieces of information gets passed down so much that it loses much of its original meaning or intent.

  • Allen D

    [Comment removed by editors. Per our commenting guidelines, “It is OK to post with a nickname or alias, but your email address (which we will NEVER share publicly), must be a real, permanent email address. Comments with fake or non-permanent emails will be deleted.”]

  • Pheebs

    It’s true no ones reads any more, no one can be that passionate if they don’t do the research.

  • bob

    Disney is done. BSA has so many supporters that will boycot Disney into oblivion. Walt must be flipping in his grave, poor man.

  • Andy

    I hate how kids accuse Walt of being an anti Semitic, a nazi, and (the best one) a pedophile pornographer with a secret
    child porn studio (how convenient). First off many of the people who were
    crucial to Walt’s success were Jewish (Ub Iwerks, walts original business
    partner/co creator of Mickey mouse), Sherman Brothers, (writers of many famous Disney
    songs Ex. Small world), second Disney made several anti nazi films including
    Donald duck showing how bad life would be as a Nazi. And there is no evidence
    to support claims of Walt being a pedophile so if that’s your opinion than you
    can just be quiet because your opinion is invalid. :)

  • J

    The fact the Walt Disney is a racist was around long before Family Guy and Robot Chicken. I was told Walt Disney was a racist since I was a kid (30 years ago). Family Guy, Robot Chicken, and any other form of media making the joke are rehashing something that has been around for years. The fact that a museum about Walt Disney is referenced to prove he was a good person is ridiculous. Information about Disney being a douchebag has been around a long time because he was an awful person. At that time a lot of people were, it isn’t surprising at all. The idea that he had to be a nice person because he wrote children’s stories is idiotic. It’s amazing how everyone knows how racist the world was years ago but assume the people we remember must have been the only non-racists.

  • jaker

    Simpson’s made a reference to his nazi movie in season 6 of the simpsons epipsode where they go to itchy and scratchy land wich is a disney like park bart and lisa watch a movie about the creator of itchy and scratchy a walt based character when there watching the movie about his life and the narrator talks about in 1938 he made a contraversal cartoon called nazi superman are our superiors and a reference about how he loved and cared about almost all the peoples in the world And he in return would be loved by the whole world except in 1938 then goes into the nazi cartoon reference so people must of been making a deal about disney nazi cartoons before family guy but I guess most people took it as a joke cause I dont recall people saying that about walt then I do agree kids see stuff on tv assume its true when usually its a joke based on truth anyways just wanted to rag on family guy for another Simpson copy

  • steve button

    If Walt felt (and I don’t know if he did) that a signifant portion(I.e extremely wealthy) of the Jewish community were involved in criminal activities including crimes sgainst the state- and it turned out he was definitely correct – would that make Walt Disney an antisemite? More importantly – does it really matter? And if it does–why?

  • JaneSmith100

    You are totally totally wrong. My family had connections to Disney, big ones, when I was little & we are Jewish. And Walt was anti-semitic/anti-Jewish as they come. He’d probably LOVE the BDS movement today which is very similar and totally hateful towards Jews/

  • Anonymous

    Its annoying how people rely on a cartoon for their history. Really show what this country has become doesnt it? I know you won’t take me seriously because im a 13 year old girl, but I do feel I have the right to put out my opinion. Also as a side note, walt Disney made many cartoons against the nazis, and his studio held a camp for the american soilders, or so ive read in multiple biographys.