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Friday, October 19, 2007

Woman Power Revisited

Nearly ten months ago I posted a small article on Bee Selck, a lady assistant director at Disney's in the 40s and 50s, since "women in animation" was the topic around the blogs. It becomes more and more clear to me that this is an area open for a lot more research:
I had a look at who was at the studio in March 1945, and I counted 81 (yes, eighty-one) women at in the animation building alone!!! If we count a handful secretaries, assistant directors and stenographers, we are left with maybe as many as 50 or 60 ladies pushing pencils!

Below is a very short excerpt of the fateful talk Walt held for his employees on February 10th and 11th, 1941. This part deals with the rumour that the studio was hiring women to replace the higher-paid men at the drawing tables. It is still quite male-centric ("Little" Retta Scott), but one senses that he means well...
Exerpt of Walt's talk...< Click on it!
The talk itself, which I am not going to reproduce here, by the way, was seemingly fair enough - but the timing and the "angle" were all wrong: it seems to me that if Walt instead of complaining had asked for help from his employees, the strike might not even have occurred. It seems he was councilled poorly - it would have been hard for himself, as Big Boss, to come to this conclusion...

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