Meryl Streep labels Walt Disney an antisemite

Meryl Streep (Photo: YouTube)

Meryl Streep (Photo: YouTube)

Oscar-winning actress Meryl Streep has described Walt Disney as a “hideous antisemite” during a speech at a New York award ceremony this week.

Ms Streep, who starred in The Iron Lady and Mamma Mia!, told guests at the National Board of Review dinner that the Hollywood mogul was part of an antisemitic lobby group - the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals.

She said: "Disney, who brought joy arguably to billions of people was, perhaps, or had some racist proclivities.

"He formed and supported an antisemitic industry lobbying group."

She made the comments while presenting an award to British actress Emma Thompson, the star of Saving Mr Banks, about Disney's film Mary Poppins.

In the 10-minute long speech, Ms Streep also described Disney as a “gender bigot” who feared all women.

She read out a letter that Disney is said to have put to a female animator, applying to the company’s cartoon training programme in 1938. It read: "Women do not do any of the creative work in connection with preparing the cartoons for the screen, as that task is performed entirely by young men."

Last updated: 3:03pm, January 10 2014