Twitter Users Are Furious With A Professor Who Accused 'Mary Poppins' Of Using Blackface And Racism
February 8, 2019 17:59 By Fabiosa
The hit musical Mary Poppins (1964) is a timeless classic, cherished by children and adults alike.
Absolutely love classic Mary Poppins pic.twitter.com/7s9XajM0xI— 💀WhereIsMyMind?💀 (@saraWIMM) December 24, 2018
😍 I love Julie Andrews and I love Mary poppins, timeless classic ❤️ pic.twitter.com/Ty3F3KUXQw— kim (@FergusonsDeputy) October 23, 2016
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.
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:
OMG! Seriously?! It’s soot from a chimney!— Stephanie Demmler (@DisneySteph2931) February 5, 2019
Things that are not blackface:— Jon Stewart (@jsstrength) February 4, 2019
Back to actual incidences of racism now please.
You can’t make this up. God love social justice warriors 😜🤣😃 https://t.co/m5Q43Qv6wn— Cubby (@kbaxterwilliams) February 4, 2019
Seriously? 🙄— Holly Richards-Purpura (@hmrtiffbur) February 5, 2019
Awww, come on! Mary Poppins is a classic. I have watched it 1k times and never thought of blackface. There are movies and shows that are really racist, Mary Poppins is not one of them. Smh— GenghisQuand TheCryptoDon (@Quand98822444) February 5, 2019
It's not blackface. She was emulating chimney sweeps. It isn't racist. You don't have to be an academic to know that. If anything, it's classist.— Brunson (@M_Brunson) February 5, 2019
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.