Longstanding allegations against Mickey Mouse creator and iconic entertainment figure Walt Disney surfaced Sunday at a Television Critics Association summer press tour panel, with people behind a new documentary on Disney generally dismissing the accusations.
Entertainment Weekly reports that Sarah Colt, the director and producer of the new PBS “American Experience” film, set to air this fall, focused in particular on the suggestion that Disney was anti-Semitic.
Said Colt: “That’s just not based on any truths, so there’s no reason to bring it up in the film. It wasn’t relevant. There isn’t any evidence.”
Neal Gabler, the author of “Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination,” offered a similar perspective, noting that in his research on Disney, “I saw no evidence, other than casual anti-Semitism that virtually every gentile at that time would have, that Walt Disney was an anti-Semite.”
Gabler is also quoted by EW saying: “There are many charges against Walt Disney, and if you answered every one of them, you’d have a four-hour film that was nothing but rebutting charges.”
The experts conceded that Disney was both revered and feared, EW notes. Said Gabler: “Everyone was terrified of [Disney].”
The four-hour PBS documentary airs Sept. 14 and 15. Here’s a trailer: