The grandniece of Walt Disney is weighing in on Meryl Streep's recent comments about the entertainment mogul, saying she has no doubt that Disney was racist, anti-semitic and misogynistic.
During a recent speech given during an awards gala, Oscar-winner Streep referred to Walt Disney as a "gender bigot" and person who "supported an anti-Semitic industry lobbying group."
Walt Disney's grandniece Abigail Disney -- a filmmaker, scholar and social activist -- addressed Streep's comments last Friday on her Facebook page, according to The Hollywood Reporter. "If you are going to have mixed feelings about a family member (and we all do) take it from me, you really need to be as honest as possible about those feelings, or else you are going to lead yourself into many a blind alley in life!!" she wrote.
She continued her candid views about Walt Disney, who is the subject of the current film Saving Mr. Banks, starring Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson.
"... Anti-Semite? Check. Misogynist? OF COURSE!! Racist? C'mon he made a film (Jungle Book) about how you should stay 'with your own kind' at the height of the fight over segregation! As if the 'King of the Jungle' number wasn't proof enough!! How much more information do you need?" Abigail wrote. "But damn, he was hella good at making films and his work has made billions of people happy. There's no denying it," she added.
In another Facebook post, Abigail explained her position further. "I feel I have to clarify. I LOVED what Meryl Streep said. I know he was a man of his times and I can forgive him, but Saving Mr Banks was a brazen attempt by the company to make a saint out of the man. A devil he was not. Nor an angel. That's the point and if you read ALL her remarks you'll know that's exactly what she was getting at. She said exactly what I said about how in spite of it all, his vision was amazing and he brought joy to so many around the world. So I say Brava Meryl. I don't believe in bashing for bashing's sake but whenever we see a misplaced attempt at hagiography we need to speak our minds!"