Disney Rejection Letter - 1938

Discussion in 'The Reading Room' started by Shearer, Jun 27, 2007.

  1. Shearer

    Shearer Practically Family

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    This was on Boing Boing yesterday:

    [​IMG]

    from Boing Boing: Kevin's grandmother received this rejection letter from Walt Disney Productions in 1938, telling her that she wasn't welcome at animator training school because she was a girl. The sting seems to have been mitigated somewhat by the excellent stationery they sent the note on.

    Boing Boing link

    And the original flickr link where you can read the whole letter.

    Slightly condescending letter aside, can you believe this beautiful letterhead?

    (Bartenders: feel free to move this around, I wasn't sure where to stick it.)
     
  2. CharlieH.

    CharlieH. One Too Many

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    It used to be Detroit....
    Wow! That must have been quite a blow. She would've probably had better luck had she applied for the ink and paint department a couple years later when the studios moved to their massive Burbank campus. (Although she did eventually become an animator according to the Flickr commentary).
    And it really is an amazing letterhead!
     
  3. NicolettaRose

    NicolettaRose Practically Family

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    Wow. Times have really changed. Anyone who recieved that letter today could slap Disney with a big lawsuit.
     
  4. LadyStardust

    LadyStardust Practically Family

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    I'm sorry, but I just had to laugh at how appropriate the witch graphic is, especially next to the signature. lol Beautiful letterhead, harsh words.
    Thanks for sharing! :)
     
  5. GoldLeaf

    GoldLeaf A-List Customer

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    Whew!

    This relates a bit to a different discussion we were having elsewhere. She obviously had ambition and wasn't allowed to pursue it because of her gender! Thank goodness that I haven't had to face that today!
     
  6. ShooShooBaby

    ShooShooBaby One Too Many

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    ya know, i was thinking the exact same thing, goldleaf... :rolleyes:
     
  7. MrBern

    MrBern I'll Lock Up

    workplace diversity

    Just another reminder that we do have it better now than back in the good ole days.

    But that is some FABULOUS stationary!
     
  8. J. M. Stovall

    J. M. Stovall Call Me a Cab

    And it only took a World War to turn thing around for the ladies...sheesh!:(
     
  9. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    There was one woman who comes to mind who animated at a major studio before the war -- Laverne Harding, who was on the staff at the Walter Lantz studio as far back as the late thirties. But until the fifties she got screen credit as "Verne" Harding, thus sustaining the fiction that animation was a boys club...
     
  10. Shearer

    Shearer Practically Family

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    I didn't even notice until after I posted this that the person who signed the letter was a woman. Ironic... I wonder what she thought of it.
     
  11. Lady Day

    Lady Day I'll Lock Up Bartender

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    Wow,

    Back then it was about your gender, now its who you know. Times really have changed :p


    LD
     
  12. CharlieH.

    CharlieH. One Too Many

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    It used to be Detroit....
    Actually, Laverne Harding did get some publicity as a female animator (though still refered to as Verne).
    As for boys clubs...The Disney studio also had a men-only Penthouse Club. Women, on the other hand had.... well, they had longer sick leaves than the boys.
     
  13. HadleyH

    HadleyH I'll Lock Up

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    Walt Disney explains why women don't make good animators:

    ...Ordinarily Disney keeps from 30 to 40 men in his apprentice room.The apprenticeship lasts from six months to a year.
    As a rule this class is composed entirely of youn men. Seldom a girl is found among them. For some inexplainable reason, women don't make good animators. At the present time there is only one in the entire business - Verne Harding - who works at Universal.
    "I don't know why girls should be poor animators but they are"- Disney declares. "Very frequently they are better artists than men but for some reason they lack the knack of getting smooth action into their drawings".

    From the horses mouth.

    (he was wrong of course, wasn't he? ;) )
     
  14. Lady Day

    Lady Day I'll Lock Up Bartender

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    Well that explains why I cant get a job there lol

    LD
     
  15. Fletch

    Fletch I'll Lock Up

    Because Walt said so. That would have been unexplainable enough, even back then.
     
  16. Shimmy Sally

    Shimmy Sally Registered User

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    Oh well, Disney was a racist bigot too. His loss I'm sure.
    Thank you for sharing that. How ironic. It's a good reminder that many things of the Golden Era can stay there.
     
  17. MrNewportCustom

    MrNewportCustom Call Me a Cab

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    I looked at the signature three times before confirming to myself that it was Mary, and not Maury. How ironic.

    I wonder if that letterhead is available for sale, today. It's beautiful!


    Lee
     
  18. Elaina

    Elaina One Too Many

    I find it more ironic that two of childhood's heros, Disney and Dr. Suess, didn't even like children.

    The whole women thing, it still goes around today, except that now women can do it to men too as long as they keep quiet about it, and say it's for something else.
     
  19. Fletch

    Fletch I'll Lock Up

    Every era has its unexplainables.
     
  20. Jovan

    Jovan Suspended

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    Well said!
     

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