‘Flirting With Blackface’ – Mary Poppins Branded As Racist By US Academic Over Soot On Face
You know it’s really bad when even the Europeans are laughing at us. Julie Andrews’ famous chimney sweep scene in Disney’s Mary Poppins has bizarrely been branded as racist by a US academic. An English and gender studies professor at Oregon’s Linfield College named Professor Daniel Pollack-Pelzner has branded Mary Poppins as racist because of the iconic scene where she has soot on her face.
The professor accused the iconic female character of “blacking up” when her face is already covered with soot as she dances alongside Dick Van Dyke. The scene plays out to the tune of Step In Time and is one of the most beloved movie scenes of all time. The 1964 Oscar-winning classic is near and dear to the hearts of people all over the world and not racist in the least.
Pollack-Pelzner wrote in the New York Times under the headline ‘Mary Poppins, and a Nanny’s Shameful Flirting With Blackface’. He then reveals he is not a fan. The professor writes: “When the magical nanny (played by Julie Andrews) accompanies her young charges, Michael and Jane Banks, up their chimney, her face gets covered in soot, but instead of wiping it off, she gamely powders her nose and cheeks even blacker.”
He also referred to passages in P.L. Travers’ original books that he believes are clearly racist. As so many on the left do, he’s imagining racism where there is none. The professor chooses a single line to attack where a housemaid says: “Don’t touch me, you black heathen,” to a chimney sweep.
From The Sun:
“And he argues when Admiral Boom shouts orders to fire on the chimney sweeps by yelling: “We’re being attacked by Hottentots!” it is also racist.
“The 1964 film replays this racial panic in a farcical key,” he writes.
“When the dark figures of the chimney sweeps Step in Time on a roof and a naval buffoon, Admiral Boom shouts, we’re in on the joke, such as it is: These aren’t really black Africans; they’re grinning white dancers in blackface.
“It’s a parody of black menace; it’s even posted on a white nationalist website as evidence of the film’s racial hierarchy.”
“Not surprisingly, fans of the film have taken to social media to hit back at the claims.
“One Twitter user posted: “People who are so ignorant as to be offended by such scenes should never watch TV or movies. They are obviously incapable of rational thought or discernment.”
“Another said: “Mary Poppins wasn’t flirting with black face! It was soot in their faces from being up a chimney!!!!
“Stop spreading racism claims on non-racist things like this.’ A third wrote: ‘Come on now, leave Mary Poppins out of this!
“Chimney sweeps in London DID have coal dust on their faces. Didn’t make them, or Mary for that matter, racist.”
“The film remains one of the most successful ever made and picked up five Oscars, including Best Actress for Dame Julie.”
Of course, there were those that agreed with the professor:
“Michael Schulman, a writer for the New Yorker said: “This made me think about class, too – how Mary Poppins, a posh domestic, scrambles the class divide and introduces Jane & Michael to the much more fun world of pleb chimney sweeps. Further scrambled in the sequel when the Bankses are also in the poorhouse.”
“Author Mr Pollack-Pelzner posted online after his article was published: “The chief reason I wrote this article was the hope that a Disney exec would read it, take another look at the forthcoming Dumbo remake, and ask if there was anything just a little bit racist they might want to rethink before it hits the big screen.
“Here’s one thing I’ve learned about the alt-right after I wrote this article and received a zillion hate messages in response: they sure like Mary Poppins!”‘
Everything is racist to the left these days. Mary Poppins is not racist. The humor and entertainment were from a different time but they were not offensive. Many consider this one of the dumbest pieces the New York Times has run to date.
Pollack-Pelzner told The Mail on Sunday: “I don’t like hearing that something I loved and that something that was important to me in my childhood might be more troubling than I assumed. So I appreciate the strength of the reaction.
“I just hope some of that energy can go to Disney as well and ask them to think a little bit more about how their new movies connect with the past.”
The good professor is white and seems offended easily. Perhaps he should review his own past and stop lecturing Disney on cherished films from our youth.