Viewers have observed instances of racism, bigotry, and homophobia in the 1964 stop motion holiday classic.
The 1964 stop motion classic, Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer makes multiple appearances on TV every holiday season. Lately, it is facing its fair share of controversy. Those who've watched it as kids are now finding it to be inconsiderate on several accounts. Viewers claim that they can see hints of marginalization, racism, and homophobia while watching it as adults, according to a report by Huffington Post and they took to Twitter to comment about its underlying problems.
One Twitter user labeled Santa "a bigoted exploitative prick." The holiday classic certainly hasn't aged well with the viewers. They claim that they saw a pattern of bullying and shaming throughout the cartoon. For example, Rudolph's father often criticized the baby reindeer to cover up his shiny red nose, even though it made Rudolph feel targeted and shamed. The pattern continues for most of the cartoon with many users pointing out that the school coach encourages the bullying of Rudolph for looking different from the others.
One Twitter user wrote: "Yearly reminder that #Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is a parable on racism & homophobia w/Santa as a bigoted exploitative prick. The exploitative use of elves, which is problematic in the legend of Santa Clause, is prevalent in the stop motion classic as well." Another user wrote: "Has anyone else noticed that within the first five minutes of #RudolphTheRedNosedReindeer two characters get bullied?" Right beneath the tweet, a disapproving Twitter user wrote: "Don’t care. It’s a cartoon."
Okay, I’m going to say what we’re all thinking: In the scene where Rudolph’s nose is revealed, Santa is kind of a dick. #RudolphTheRedNosedReindeer— Liz Palm Trees Prato 🌴 (@Liz_Prato) November 28, 2018
One user wrote: "Watching Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. The moral of the story I’ve learned since watching it as a kid: People are dicks until they need something from you. Not everyone enjoyed watching their childhood classic being criticized. Many requested the holiday cartoon to be left alone and argued that it preached acceptance and Rudolph's triumph at the end is a reflection of that."
And speaking of #RudolphTheRedNosedReindeer, what the ultimate bully comeback. Those reindeer and their games.. very, very mean. We know Rudolph saves the day in the end, but it hurts to watch. Little, dear Rudolph. pic.twitter.com/QDbewGH5Vi— Kelly Jones (@RealKellyJones) November 28, 2018
A fourth user tweeted: "This 54yr old children’s movie teaches lessons of acceptance, equality, forgiveness, perseverance. It teaches people not to be judgmental, it teaches it’s ok to be and to accept those different from themselves. All lessons people could still learn today." That’s hardly problematic IMO. Donald Trump Jr. had his own take on the debate and tweeted: "Liberalism is a disease."
Oh no. It’s #RudolphTheRedNosedReindeer I don’t have strength to watch this again. Those poor elves. That bully with the whip. Abusive deer. Dentist shaming. Unloved toys. It’s too much.— MJ Caan (@MJCaan) November 28, 2018
With much controversy surrounding the film now, we cannot discredit the era of its production. Certian practices of marginalization, racism and homophobia were accepted by the majority and weren't considered problematic. It is a holiday classic, which just hasn't aged well. However, there's one thing we can be sure of, every holiday season, Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer will be subject to a new set of observations.
THIS WAS THE EARLY 60’d DIFF TIME/ CULTURE! THE POINT WAS TO OVER COME BULLYING AND ACCEPT YOURSELF NO MATTER WHAT OTHERS THOUGHT AND HE GAINED CONFIDENCE IN HIMSELF AND BECAME THE STAR REINDEER AND EVERYONE PUT HIS DIFFERENCE TO THE SIDE AND ACCEPTED HIM FOR WHO HE WAS! STOP— SiSi (@sierralee03) November 29, 2018