Last night, while Meryl Streep took the stage at the National Board of Review Awards to honour Emma Thompson for her role in “Saving Mr. Banks,” the actress blasted Walt Disney calling him a sexist, anti-semite.
During her speech, Streep referenced a 1938 rejection letter Arkansan Mary Ford received after applying for a position in the “inking and painting” department with Disney.
The letter says women do not “do any of the creative work” for preparing cartoons at the company.
The rejection letter has been circulating the Internet for a while.
You can view the original here.
If you haven’t seen it, here’s Disney’s stance on hiring women in 1938 in full:
“Dear Miss Ford:
Your letter of recent date has been received in the Inking and Painting Department for reply.
Women do not do any of the creative work in connection with preparing the cartoons for the screen, as that task is performed entirely by young men. For this reason, girls are not considered for the training school.
The only work open to women consists of tracing the characters on clear celluloid sheets with India ink, and then, filling in the tracing on the reverse side with paint according to directions.
In order to apply for a position as ‘Inker’ or ‘Painter’ it is necessary that one appear at the Studio, bringing samples of pen and ink and water colour work. It would not be advisable to come to Hollywood with the above specifically in view, as there are really very few openings in comparison with the number of girls who apply.
Yours very truly,
Walt Disney Productions, LTD.”
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