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date: 04 December 2020

Hollywood and Disney in Mid-20th-Century Inter-American Relationslocked

  • Fernando PurcellFernando PurcellInstitute of History, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
  •  and Camila GaticaCamila GaticaFaculty of History, Geography and Political Science, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

Summary

Hollywood, and Disney in particular, played a key role in inter-American relations during the mid-20th century. Hollywood cinema became an important weapon of cultural diplomacy in the context of the Good Neighbor Policy and later during World War II, and it aligned itself with the main diplomatic guidelines issued by Washington. Cinema was widely disseminated throughout Latin America, which helped to consolidate the US message in the region. Thus the close ties between the Hollywood film industry and the State Department is made clear, which became particularly close with regard to Latin America thanks to the creation of the Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs during the conflict. In this context, the Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs played a key role in creating a two-way street between Latin American culture and US audiences, as well as presenting the United States as an ally to trust.

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