Meryl Streep hits out at Walt Disney

Meryl Streep

Meryl Streep has taken a pop at Walt Disney calling him a "gender bigot".

The August: Osage County star was speaking at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association gala, where she was invited to honour Emma Thompson for her portrait as Mary Poppins creator PL Travers in Disney's Saving Mr Banks.

But Meryl used her nine-minute speech as a chance to have a dig at Walt Disney, whose representation in the film, played by Tom Hanks, is somewhat sugar-coated.

According to Variety, Meryl said: "Some of his associates reported that Walt Disney didn't really like women," quoting animator Ward Kimball as saying: "He didn't trust women or cats." 

The Oscar-winning star talked about how Disney "supported an anti-Semitic industry lobbying group" and called him a "gender bigot". She read a letter that his company wrote in 1938 to an aspiring female animator, which 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."

But she also took time to praise Emma, gushing "she's practically a saint" and "she's a beautiful artist".

Meryl also read a poem she had written, titled, An Ode to Emma, Or What Emma is Owed, which paid tribute to her Britishness, and called her a "knockout" and "Oscar gold".