Twitter Users Are Furious With A Professor Who Accused 'Mary Poppins' Of Using Blackface And Racism

Date February 8, 2019

The hit musical Mary Poppins (1964) is a timeless classic, cherished by children and adults alike.

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Just thinking about this film brings on a rush of warm childhood memories about carefree days. There are, however, some people who managed to find fault with the picture, for the most ridiculous reason imaginable.

U.S. professor accuses ‘Mary Poppins’ of racism

Most people see Mary Poppins as an innocent family movie, but Professor Daniel Pollack-Pelzner isn’t one of them. In an op-ed published by The New York Times, the professor recalls the scene in which the title character climbs up a chimney and gets soot on her face:

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.

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The professor goes on to interpret it as blackface and explain his thinking, writing that P. L. Travers, the author of the book on which the film is based, ‘associated chimney sweeps’ blackened faces with racial caricature.’

The op-ed, titled ‘Mary Poppins,’ and a Nanny’s Shameful Flirting With Blackface, sparked a wave of outrage online.

People’s indignant reactions

Naturally, the film’s fans found the professor’s interpretation of Mary Poppins’ soot-covered face absolutely nonsensical and ridiculous.

Here are a few comments of outraged Twitter users:

We should really stop looking for racism where there’s none. Whatever Prof. Pollack-Pelzner implies in his article, the film’s creators had none of that in their minds, and Mary Poppins' fans know it.

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