Thursday, March 31, 2022

Cancel Culture -- 'Mickey Mouse' ?

'Cancel Culture’ vultures are now circling Disney's 'Mickey Mouse', who according to the book "Birth of an Industry: Blackface Minstrelsy and the Rise of American Animation" by Nicholas Sammond, was created to be the most popular 'blackface' minstrel of all time:

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

"American animation is actually in many of its most enduring incarnations....

" 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 white gloves worn by black servants, performing their version of "Uncle Tom's Cabin" with a cast of cartoon animals.

Rather than burnt cork, Mickey lights a firecracker to apply his blackface, topped off with an Al Jolson impression of "Mammy"

Click the images to enlarge...