“Women do not do any of the creative work” – A Disney rejection letter from 1938

Rejection is never fun. But surely, rejection from the happiest place on earth must be a little less harsh? Apparently not. Read this unbelievable rejection letter from 1938, that explains a young woman cannot apply to be a Disney artist, on the grounds that’s she’s… well… a she.

Sometimes, in the midst of job-hunting frustration, it’s good to take a moment to reflect on what has changed in hiring practises over the last 100 years.

After being astounded by the beauty of Disney animations, a young lady by the name of Mary Ford wrote to the production housing with a keen interest in beginning training as one of their artists. The response?



“that work is performed entirely by young men.”

Must be because those pencils are so heavy and cumbersome.

Disney is still plagued by accusations of sexism, with Pixar’s ‘glass ceiling’ well documented by one of their former story editors, Brenda Chapman. So the question is, far is there still to go? Are gender-driven hiring practises less prevalent now, or are they just better covered? And, perhaps most importantly, are Disney’s rejection letters still this fancy?


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Natasha Hodgson is the Content and Community Manager over at Enternships. She loves writing about inspiring things, and Nicolas Cage. Luckily, those two things are not mutually exclusive.

3 thoughts on ““Women do not do any of the creative work” – A Disney rejection letter from 1938”

  1. Aptly categorised as “inspiring”. 
    But you have to appreciate the fact that they took the time to reply to a rejected candidate. That’s exemplary ethics right there.

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