From French daily L’Humanité:
by Emilie Rive
Mickey Mouse Racism
Translated Thursday 12 November 2009, by Gene Zbikowski and reviewed by Gene Zbikowski
On Nov. 4, SOS Racisme, the French anti-racist NGO founded in 1984, published its report on companies that keep files on their employees’ ethnic identity and referred the case of Eurodisney to the courts. The entertainment industry giant requires that 80% of its temporary workers look “European.”
A “bombshell.” That is the word used by Patrick Karam, the inter-ministerial delegate for equal opportunity for French citizens from the overseas départements and territories, to describe the report submitted to him by the Fédération nationale des Maisons des potes and SOS Racisme.
The subject is an explosive one: the practice of keeping files on the ethnic identity of people seeking housing or a job.
Cynically, one might say that with this racism, Disneyland Paris follows in the footsteps of the founder of the Disney empire. Walt Disney, like that other well-known United States capitalist, Henry Ford, was on the far Right of US politics.
This video from the USA says about itself:
Secret Lives. Walt Disney (1 of 6)
A revelation of the darker side to Walt Disney’s character looking at his racist, anti-Semitic, misogynist tendencies which finally led to a pathological hatred of communists and an active particpation in McCarthy’s House Committee on Un-American Activities.
Here come the ofter 5 parts.
Eurodisney money problems: here.
Henry A. Giroux, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.: “Walt Disney’s testimony before the House Un-American Activities Committee on October 24, 1947 – in which he declared, ‘Everybody in my studio is one-hundred-percent American,’ while he also named a number of former employees who had organized a labor strike as ‘Communists’ – signified the culmination of a long-standing relationship of collaboration between the Walt Disney Company and the American government. Disney told the committee that he felt the best strategy for safeguarding ‘all of the good, free causes in this country, all of the liberalisms that really are American’ would be to uncover the ‘un-American’ labor activists who had infiltrated the motion picture industry and had propagated their Communist ‘ideologies,’ which in turn were directly responsible for activities such as the 1941 strike at the Disney studio in Burbank, California”: here.
I’ve read artist and animator Bill Peet’s autobiography, which offers up a fairly hairy portrait of working with Walt Disney in the early days of the company’s animation golden age. And at the National Board of Review Awards, Meryl Streep, who was presenting an award to Emma Thompson for playing P.L. Travers in Saving Mr. Banks, a Disney movie that’s at least partially about the greatness of Walt Disney, pointed out that the company he built wasn’t exactly warm and fuzzy in other ways. Specifically, it locked women out of creative work on animation. Streep, in making that point, referenced a 1938 rejection letter Mary Ford received from the company–on Snow White stationery, no less–when she applied for an animating job: here.