Viewers Savage ‘Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer’ Claymation Special Over ‘Bullying’ Concerns
Not even the beloved childrens’ claymation holiday special, “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” is immune to being “cancelled.”
The hour-long Christmas program aired Monday evening on CBS and, although adults watching the program had probably seen it dozens — if not hundreds — of times before, a number of them weighed in on how “inappropriate” the cherished tale of an outcast reindeer with a glowing red nose becomes the hero of Santa Claus’s Christmas Eve trip around the world is given the current environment.
For those who may have missed the special, which airs every year around December 1st as a kickoff to the holiday season, “Rudolph,” the red-nosed reindeer, is bullied fairly early on in the show. After flying around — and doing a remarkably good job of it — a black plug, which was covering Rudolph’s blinking lightbulb of a nose, falls off, and he faces a wave of ridicule from his peers, his “flying coach,” and Santa Claus. Later on, he’s essentially told, by his father, to “man up” and accept his fate as an outcast.
It’s certainly a more 1970s way of handling bullying, but it’s also one scene in a fictional morality tale about a reindeer with a lightbulb for a nose that’s ultimately meant to convey that our percieved weaknesses can become our greatest strengths.
Some, at least jabbed at the special lightheartedly.
“Ultimately, you have to blame Santa for the bullying culture at the North Pole. Donner is just middle management,” one commenter joked. “Santa put pressure on his reindeer, so they felt like they had to have the perfect children.”
Ultimately, you have to blame Santa for the bullying culture at the North Pole. Donner is just middle management. Santa put pressure on his reindeer, so they felt like they had to have the perfect children. #Rudolph#RudolphTheRedNosedReindeer
If you really pay attention to this Christmas classic, you'll notice that there is a fairly good amount of bullying in the show. You may also discover that those that are supposed to defend Rudolph, join in with the bullying and putting him down(Santa Claus, Rudolph's dad).
The story included a few truly epic tweets on the subject, including one that called the show “parable on racism & homophobia w/ Santa as a bigoted exploitative prick,” and others that called the North Pole an “HR nightmare,” and “explotative” of workers, as though viewers could reconsider Rudolph through the lens of Communism.
This certainly isn’t the first time Rudolph has run afoul of the woke crowd. In 2018, a handful of people were angry about the red-nosed deer’s contributions to all manner of oppressive constructs.
The creators of the show have taken critics to task before, admitting that Rudolph was penned in a different time, but that it has value to young viewers even in the digital age.
“I think all kids are looking for guidance. I think all kids feel slightly inferior… kids have problems, whatever they may be. And to see other characters that have problems, they can associate with them,” Arthur Rankin, Jr. said in an interview in 2010. “And when the characters are relieved of their problems by their own actions — like Rudolph became the lead because he was very needed and he fulfilled a big role — Hermey became a dentist because he conquered Bumble.”
“And kids love to see someone of their own stride, their own age or their own inferiority, achieve things,” the claymation pioneer continued. “That makes them feel good. I think that’s probably the reason these films last so long, because in all our films, that happens. The bad guy becomes the good guy at the end, he’s reformed, and the underdog fulfills his quest.”