Wednesday, September 01, 2021

'Mickey Mouse' Cancel Culture ?

While some Americans are demanding Democrats pay reparations for the creation of historically racist 'Jim Crow' laws, 'cancel culture' vultures are also circling Disney's 'Mickey Mouse', following the takedown of “Uncle Remus” statues from Disney theme parks and according to the book "Birth of an Industry: Blackface Minstrelsy and the Rise of American Animation" by Nicholas Sammond, Mickey Mouse was created to be the most popular 'Jim Crow' minstrel of all time:

"Commercial animation in the United States didn’t borrow from blackface minstrelsy, nor was it simply influenced by it, " writes Sammond.

"American animation is actually in many of its most enduring incarnations an integral part of the ongoing iconographic and performative traditions of 'blackface'. 

"'Mickey Mouse' isn't like a minstrel; he is a minstrel."

Sammond insists the cartoon short "Steamboat Willie", the debut of Mickey Mouse in 1928... a classic example of the popular singing 'black minstrel' of the time.

In another cartoon short, "Mickey’s Mellerdrammer" (1933), 'Mickey' and girlfriend 'Minnie', wear the white gloves worn by black servants at the time...

...performing their version of "Uncle Tom's Cabin" with a cast of cartoon animals in blackface. 

Mickey uses an exploding firecracker to apply his ‘blackface’, finishing up with an Al Jolson impression of "Mammy"

Click the images to enlarge...