The grandniece of Walt Disney agreed with Meryl Streep's criticism of the animation legend being racist, revealing via Facebook on Friday, Jan. 10 that "loved" the actress' remarks.
Abigail Disney, a filmmaker/social activist, weighed in on the remarks in two Facebook posts cited by The Hollywood Reporter. Her grandfather, Roy O. Disney, was Walt's older brother and co-founder of The Walt Disney Company. She also made mention of Walt Disney Pictures and its distribution of Saving Mr. Banks, in which Tom Hanks plays Walt Disney.
"I hadn't heard a word about this Meryl Streep/Walt Disney flap till this morning. Funny how no one mentioned it to me.... Like I was living in some kind of information bubble and nobody wanted to hurt my feelings or something," she wrote. "But if anyone is going to have mixed feelings about a cultural icon, wouldn't it be a member of the family??? More than anyone else???
"And 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!! ... 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 gave credit to Walt by saying, "But damn, he was hella good at making films and his work has made billions of people happy."
"There's no denying it. So there ya go," she added. "Mixed feelings up the wazoo."
She wrote another post 10 hours later, saying she felt the need "to clarify" her previous remarks. She explained that she "loved" what Streep said about her late grand-uncle. Then, taking a stab at the Walt Disney Pictures, she wrote, "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 added. "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!"
The Walt Disney Company has not commented on the Facebook posts.