After the release of “Aladdin”, actor Robin Williams, who portrayed the wise cracking Genie character in the film made no secret of the fact that Disney had landed at the top of his shit list. Williams discussed his beef on the Today Show in 1993 by explaining that while he had of course agreed to voice the Genie in the movie, he wasn’t into his voice being utilized in the ensuing attempt by Disney to make millions off of cheap plastic shit which depicted various characters in the movie.
“The one thing I said was I will do the voice. I’m doing it basically because I want to be part of this animation tradition. I want something for my children. One deal is, I just don’t want to sell anything–as in Burger King, as in toys, as in stuff.” But bring on the “stuff” Disney did which ensued in a public relations battle between the star and the studio, which responded by using words like “unfortunate” in an attempt to express that they too were pissed but much too family friend to ever use such a term.
In the end however, the studio decided to apologize via the time honored tradition of presenting the offended with a 1 million dollar Picasso. Okay, okay, so maybe it’s not that time honored…or a tradition quite yet, but once can always hope. The painting in questioned featured Picasso in a self-portrait in which he thought it’d be badass to paint himself dressed up as fellow artist Vincent Van Gogh for unknown reasons.
Williams response can be summed up as “WTF?!” as he jokingly threatened to burn the painting on live Television. Though Williams was reconciled with Disney in 1994 after Joe Roth took over the studio, he is said to have kept the painting hidden in his San Francisco basement until his death. Know more.