Why Are These Women Smiling?

What a delightful group of women. I honestly don’t understand why they’re so happy after spending so many years working for that gender bigot, Walt Disney. And, before somebody jumps on me - remember I’m making a joke. It turns out these amazing women think their boss, Walt Disney was an okay guy. Perhaps not perfect, but hardly the bigoted Hollywood boss he’s recently been accused of being.

If you’re a young person you probably don’t know these marvelous women. If you’re an old codger like myself, you know them all. From the left that’s, Sylvia Roemer, Dodie Roberts, Robyn Roberts, Marie Johnston, Carmen Sanderson, Alice Davis and Becky Fallberg as they reunite on the Walt Disney Studio lot. While it’s true opportunities for women were limited back in the thirties and forties, most women didn’t have the opportunity to have a job doing something creative. As odd as it may seem to us today, most women were thrilled to have a job at the Walt Disney Studios. Believe me, there were plenty of other jobs out there that sucked a good deal more. And, while we’ve already had this discussion ad infinitum, remember in the thirties it was believed that only women had the patience and temperament to handle the job of inking & painting. Though the job appears to be tedious and rote, in actuality it requires considerable skill and talent. It was not a job anyone could simply walk in and do. More than a fair amount of artistic ability was a requirement. As one who has done the job on occasion I’ll admit it would have driven me nuts. Yet, my former wife could paint cels all day long and actually enjoy it. Does that make me a gender bigot, you ask? Some would surely say, yes, it does.

In any case, I’ve had the opportunity to work with many of these wonderful women over the years. They were my colleagues and they were my friends. In all that time I never heard any of them speak ill of Walt Disney. Most had praise for the man - as did we all. While we acknowledge that the boss smoked too much and maybe tipped a few too many, how many of us could look in the mirror and find a person without faults? It would appear the current generation has an inflated view of their own ethics and morality, and find it easy to judge others. Sadly, we’ve now become a nation of hypocrites eager to judge those that came before us. Often time forgetting that our own parents and grandparents may have on occasion missed the mark. But, we’re so filled with our own self-righteousness we can’t even see that.

I don’t expect the accusations to stop anytime soon. When you’re as old as I am you eventually realize most people are not easily dissuaded and there’s little you can do to change their minds. People believe what they want to believe and that’s that. But, before you go, take one last look at the delightful Disney photograph and convince me that all these marvelous, talented women worked for a man they despised.

Sylvia Roemer, Dodie Roberts, Robyn Roberts, Marie Johnston, Carmen Sanderson, Alice Davis and Becky Fallberg at the Walt Disney Studios. Perhaps you should ask them if Walt was a gender bigot.

Sylvia Roemer, Dodie Roberts, Robyn Roberts, Marie Johnston, Carmen Sanderson, Alice Davis and Becky Fallberg at the Walt Disney Studios. Perhaps you should ask them if Walt was a gender bigot.