Disney Claims ‘Anti-Israel Donald Duck’ is ‘Not Currently Under Contract,’ No Comment on Future Employment
The Walt Disney Company on Wednesday tried to distance itself from an Egyptian voice over artist who calls himself the “official voice of Donald Duck in the Middle East” and who caused an online firestorm this week after he published anti-Israel and anti-Zionist remarks on Twitter.
Wael Mansour, whose Twitter tirade surprised Disney executives while the company, which owns the rights to Donald Duck, was preoccupied with presenting its third quarter results this week, is an outside subcontractor who has no affiliation with the parent company, a spokesman for Disney in Europe and the Middle East told The Algemeiner.
“This man was employed by a third-party, in the past, and is not currently— and shouldn’t be painted as a Disney employee,” said the company spokesman.
“Disney is a large, multinational corporation and we have policies guiding the correct behavior of all our employees,” he said, adding that very few employees ever speak on behalf of the company.
Contacted by The Algemeiner, Wael Mansour said that while he is technically not under contract, Disney’s implication that he doesn’t work for the company is “not true.”
“I’ve been working as the only voice provider of Donald Duck dubbed in Arabic for the ME on all pan Arab channels since 2006,” Mansour said, adding that he last recorded the voice of Disney’s character in April 2013, and that he works when called by the dubbing company.
As recently as June of this year Mansour posted a picture on Twitter of himself recording the voice of the Disney character.
Responding to Mansour’s claims on Wednesday the Disney spokesman declined to comment on whether the company would contract Mansour in the future, and he reiterated that the artist “was not currently under contract.”
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of Jewish human rights group the Simon Wiesenthal Center, was unmoved by Disney’s response.
“Does it really matter if ‘Donald Duck’ tweets anti-Israel statements?” Cooper asked. ”Tragically, it does because it fits the overwhelming pattern of demonizing Israel throughout the Arab and Muslim world–this poison extends from leveraging social media targeting young people to offering up anti-Israel and anti-Semitic miniseries’ during Ramadan.”
On Monday, Mansour, whose Twitter profile says he is also a singer and a radio host for Cairo’s Mega FM 92.7 posted via Twitter his hope that Israel be “demolished” and said that Israelis are “a bunch of Polish/Ethiopian immigrants roughly 70 years old.”
Questioned by The Algemeiner, Mansour continued his tirade, saying, “The zionist entity is a racist entity by definition. Performing crimes of hate by the power of its criminal law. I stand firm by what I said.” Mansour also dismissed persecution of minorities in Egypt as being the result of an “overwhelming Islamic sentiment that happened normally.”