Disney presents one of the most wholesome and family-friendly images of any company on the planet, but did you know that Walt Disney used to smoke two packs of cigarettes a day? It’s difficult to find any evidence of this, however, as Disney has removed all trace of the cigarettes from the official photos of its founder.
In attempting to conceal the habit from children visiting Disneyland parks around the world, the company has inadvertently lent Mr. Disney an unusual affectation – a two finger point. In many of the images now on display in Disney locations around the world, Disney is seen smiling or laughing while pointing two fingers off camera, such as in the images seen below.
This is of course has nothing to do with any eccentricities that Disney may have possessed, but was the direct result of having a cigarette propped between the fingers which was later airbrushed out.
Over time, this two-finger point became part of Disney’s legend. It was subsequently taught to Disney employees in training and used throughout the parks as a tribute to thier founding father, but is something he never actually practiced himself. So deeply ingrained is the image of Disney pointing with two fingers that it was emulated in the movie based on his life, Saving Mr Banks, starring Tom Hanks as Walt Disney, and has been featured in a number of Disney films.
/Saving Mr Banks
The company has admitted that the images have been manipulated to remove the offending cigarettes, but has recently reversed its policy of doing so, admitting that it is important to acknowledge that smoking was a likely factor in his death from lung cancer at 65.