Thursday, November 10, 2011

November 10 1940

Walt Disney becomes a secret agent for the FBI

"Walt Disney served as a secret FBI informant for 26 years and allowed J. Edgar Hoover access to movie and TV scripts so the agency director could suggest changes, according to documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

Details about the filmmaker's FBI connection emerge for the first time in Walt Disney: Hollywood's Dark Prince, an unauthorized biography by Marc Eliot.

Eliot, who has written several books on popular culture, provided a copy of the Disney file to The New York Times so that information and direct quotations in the book could be verified against the government documents.

Experience with similar FBI dossiers leaves no doubt that the material submitted by Eliot is authentic. As it happens, because many of the 570 pages in the Disney file are blacked out or withheld for national security reasons, it cannot be determined what names of Hollywood figures Disney passed on to the bureau as communists or subversives.

During a strike of animators at the Disney studio in 1941, however, he publicly accused the strike leaders of ''Communistic agitation,'' according to an advertisement taken out by Disney in Variety on July 2, 1941. And when Disney, whose right-wing leanings were well known, testified before the House Committee on Un-American Activities in Washington, he named several of the animators who had led the strike as Communists.

In return for Disney's information, Hoover allowed Disney to film in FBI headquarters in Washington. For his part, Disney allowed Hoover access to some Disney scripts, and made slight changes in a few lesser-known movies and an episode of The Mickey Mouse Club television show to mollify the director. There is no evidence that revisions were requested in any of Disney's classic animated features.

Because of the information Disney provided the bureau, he was made a ''full Special Agent in Charge Contact'' in 1954 - 14 years after he began as a secret informant for the bureau."


Anonymous Nz said...

As an animator I have some respect for Disney, but knowing this, also contempt. However, there is no mention of Disney's addiction to cocaine, which I suspect is probly why he worked for the FBI; they blackmailed him into it.

10/11/11 3:41 AM  
Blogger nolocontendere said...

Hmm, didn't know about the cocaine, but they maybe didn't have to do that if for over a decade he ratted out suspected political opponents.
It sucks to think such an iconic figure would vet his work with the fascists but what can you say these days.

10/11/11 2:37 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Cost of the War in Iraq
(JavaScript Error)
To see more details, click here.