As we’ve written before, Walt Disney and J. Edgar Hoover enjoyed a decades-long professional and person friendship, with fringe benefits including union busting and free admission to Disneyland for FBI agents. There were downsides, however - such as when one unnamed DC insider tried to leverage the Director’s relationship to pressure Disney into making religious cartoons.
A 1956 memo in Disney’s FBI file documents the Bureau’s visit from a certain Mrs. ██████. Hoover, perhaps tipped off that she was coming, was not in.
Whoever drew the short straw and had to serve as Hoover’s surrogate listened patiently to ██████’s idea - to have the Director lend the weight of his endorsement to her idea of getting Disney to produce Biblically-themed features.
If you’re wondering why this was a matter for the nation’s number one policeman, this had apparently been ██████’s crusade for quite a while. She was convinced that an animated Noah would help solve juvenile delinquency and had been pitching anyone in government that would listen - which included no less than the First Lady.
The Bureau officer politely suggested to ██████ that she take the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare’s suggestion and just contact Disney herself. ██████, not wanting to be too much of a bother, took the hint, gave her compliments to the Director, and the affair was over.
Or so the Bureau thought - one month later, ██████ returned. She had contacted Disney, only to receive this rather curt response.
Now it was time to break out the big guns - in order to preserve our children’s welfare, Hoover had to intercede on ██████’s behalf, and convince Disney to start producing Christian programming.
The Bureau’s response was a pretty quick no.
██████ tried one last-ditch “but we were at a party once together” gambit …
but to seemingly no avail - this section of the file ends here. Apparently ██████ finally got the hint.
Read the file embedded below, or on the request page:
Image via Wikimedia Commons