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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Donald Duck voiceover actor fired after saying on Twitter that Israel should be 'demolished'

Disney has dropped the voice of Donald Duck in the Middle East after he said Israel should be demolished.
Wael Mansour no longer works for the global corporation - whose founder Walt Disney was famously accused of being racist and anti-semitic - after he tweeted: 'I truly wish #Israel is demolished, I hate Zionism, I have so much hate inside me with every single child they murder or land they seize'.

He insisted his message was 'anti-Zionist', claiming Israelis were 'just a bunch of Polish / Ethiopian immigrants roughly 70 years old'.

He told his 5,000 Twitter followers: 'Disney decided I am no longer the official voice of DonaldDuck in it's middle-east dubbed cartoons because of an anti Zionism tweet. Proud!'

His total has since rocketed to 30,000 followers.

The media personality, who lives in the Egyptian capital Cairo, had previously posted photos of himself dubbing the character's famous quacking voice into Arabic.

His tweet prompted outrage among some quarters when he posted it in August last year, drawing attention from the Jewish media and commentators on Twitter.

One, Paolo Salom, told him: 'Israel is there to stay, u genocide lover. Try and think more to ur Arab Countries and how u are demolishing 'em from within.' Others, however, offered their support.

Mr Mansour is still a radio personality in Egypt, hosting a show on Cairo radio station MegaFM.

Speaking to Jewish newspaper The Algemeiner in August, a Disney spokesman said Mr Mansour was employed by a 'third party in the past' and 'should not be painted as a Disney employee'.

The spokesman added: 'Disney is a large, multinational corporation and we have policies guiding the correct behavior of all our employees.'

Speaking to MailOnline today a Disney spokesman confirmed that view, adding: 'He's not an employee of Disney and he never has been. He's a contractor.'

Pressed on whether there was a reason for Mr Mansour to speak out now, she said: 'If he does then that's for him to share. I don't have any information or background to share on that.

'There's nothing more to really say on the matter other than he's a contractor who's done work in that region for character voices, as we do the world over.'

Mr Mansour said he had done occasional voiceover work since 2006 with his last job believed to have been shortly before his tweet last summer.

Disney's founder, Walt Disney, long faced claims that he was anti-Semitic, racist and misogynistic.

Last month Meryl Streep used a speech to attack his reputation, saying the cartoons legend was a 'gender bigot' who had ‘formed and supported an anti-Semitic industry lobby'.

Mr Disney's niece Abigail came out in support of the comments, saying: 'I know he was a man of his times and I can forgive him, but Saving Mr Banks was a brazen attempt by the company to make a saint out of the man. A devil he was not. Nor an angel... So I say Brava Meryl.'

Disney did, however, make pro-American anti-Nazi films for three years during the Second World War at the request of the U.S. armed forces.

One of the films, Der Fuehrer's Face, pictured Donald Duck as a worker in a hellish Nazi munitions factory.

It was used as propaganda to sell war bonds in the U.S. and won the 1943 Oscar for best animated film.

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