A couple of blogs I read have linked to this post today; it’s an “expose” about what a horrible person author Roald Dahl (allegedly) was. I know nothing of Dahl except for his books, which I read voraciously as a kid, and the story of his early years and dealings with Walt Disney. So I cannot assess the veracity of the rest of the story (although it’s telling that the author openly admits that his feelings about Dahl stem from some unspecified problems in his own childhood), but I can speak to this absurd quote from the story:
According to the post, “[Dahl’s] interest in writing, combined with his ludicrous tales of his wartime experience, quickly led him to Hollywood, where he immediately had much in common (appetite for clandestine inappropriate sex, hatred of Jews) with the Disney brothers. Walt Disney gave him the use of a car and put him up at the Beverly Hills Hotel!”
No. No, no, no.
Those of us in the Disneysphere have been dealing with this absurd urban legend for years, and I tire of correcting those who repeat it as fact without attribution. Perhaps the best analysis of this problem that I’ve read online was contained in an excellent post on Cartoon Brew. It’s worth taking a few moments to read.
As to the Dahl story, it treats its subject with a series of equally unsourced, specious statements and uses them to draw unfounded conclusions. Dahl was a racist and Nazi sympathizer, but also hated Nazis from his time fighting them in World War II? Wha?
I’m sure Dahl has his own fans and supporters, though. I’m here for Walt, and as to my feelings on the matter… well, just read the title of the story.