Walt Disney’s been dead for 45 years. I hardly think anybody’s trying to “make up” for anything he did at this point, nor do I think anyone at the company would think to make the connection at this late date (or to care one way or the other if they did).
That column doesn’t seem to say what you claim it’s saying. It says that Jewish stereotypes appeared in some Disney films, but then a lot of ethnic stereotypes appeared in Disney films – it was kind of standard procedure for the times. The column explicitly states that “no one can specifically attribute bias to Disney himself”.
That’s definitely the best part of this litle conflagration. I hope the song is gone for good and that NBC stops using that song by Faith Hill or whichever one that is before its Sunday night game. Total waste of time.
Since I wrote the column in question, I’ll respond:
cjepson has it correct. It’s a huge step to jump from “Jewish stereotypes existed in some Disney films” to “Walt Disney had quite the rep as a Jew-Hater.” He had no such reputation except for those who look at Disney’s earlier films through modern glasses. And, although he was stated to have attended a meeting of the German American Bund, this does not even hint that he was “enamored” of the NAZI movement. As I state in my article, it was more likely because Disney was looking towards distribution of his films in Germany.
If you’re looking for irony, though, it’s best found in the possibility reported by long time Disney animator Ward Kimball that Gunther Lessing, Disney’s lawyer who supposedly got him interested in the Bund … was himself Jewish!