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March 1995, Week 2


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David Smith <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 7 Mar 1995 14:35:53 CST
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----------------------------Original message----------------------------
>----------------------------Original message----------------------------
>Many thanks to everybody for the Mouseketeer information. I'm
>wondering, though, if in the early Mouseketeer period there was
>any commentary made about the all whiteness and, mostly,
>anglo-saxon character of its members. In the back of my
>mind I remember all those old WWII and Korean War movies
>where the gruff Sarge would do the role call of his platoon,
>and all the names would reflect the muticultural reality of
>the US --even then. Why wasn't this reflected in Disney's
Everything I've heard about Walt Disney and the empire that
this fanatical despot built suggests that he considered himself
the apotheosis of 1950's white middle-class American values.
I'd be surprised if any Blacks were given visible positions at
Disney Land (at least until the mid-70's), let alone were allowed
to appear on a nationally-broadcast TV show bearing the Disney
The lily-whiteness of the Disney productions certainly would not
have been remarked upon; this was regarded as the natural order
of things. On the other hand, the first US network TV shows to
feature a Black adult character who wasn't cast in some degrading
stereotype were considered daring if not scandalous.
Those war movies you speak of perpetuated the myth that
U.S. society was an integrated and tolerant 'melting pot'
in which anyone could become President, and which went about
making the world safe for democracy (as opposed to, say,
carving out new markets and installing satellite regimes).
Generally speaking the U.S. military was not integrated until
the Vietnam era.
David Smith
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