"Gender Bigot," "Anti-Semite": Meryl Streep Slams Walt Disney at National Board of Review

The beauty of being an elder stateswoman with a recent Oscar under your belt is that you can let rip on your personal opinions and use the platform as a bully pulpit.

That's just what Meryl Streep did Tuesday night at the National Board of Review when she boldly stepped up to the dais to present Emma Thompson with the Best Actress Award for the Disney movie "Saving Mr. Banks" – and called out studio head Walt Disney (played by Tom Hanks in the movie) for his sexist and anti-Semitic ways.

"Disney, who brought joy arguably to billions of people was, perhaps, or had some racist proclivities. He formed and supported an anti-Semitic industry lobbying group and he was certainly, on the evidence of his company’s policies, a gender bigot," Streep said. She also read a letter written by the company in 1938 to an aspiring female animator that said, "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."