HomeAmerican Entertainment‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’ Controversy Kicks up After Airing on TV

‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’ Controversy Kicks up After Airing on TV

by Emily Morgan
Photo by: Lucato

With the holiday season in full swing, TV networks are airing Christmas classics perfect for families. But, while typically, these Christmas movies inspire us to get in a jolly mood, some people are pushing back against one classic film. For the first time this holiday season, CBS aired the traditional Christmas family favorite, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, on Tuesday night.

Since it first aired in 1964, the beloved stop-motion movie has entertained families every holiday season. However, in recent years, the film has received criticism as many have called it out for the bullying scenes. Now, it seems like this year will be no different. 

As the decades-old story goes, Rudolph was bullied by fellow reindeer due to his shiny red nose. They even kept him from playing any reindeer games. Then, when Santa runs into an issue with his sleigh, he asks Rudolph to use his light-up nose to guide Santa’s sleigh. As a result, he finally gets respect from his peers. 

In its television debut, writer Romeo Muller and director Larry Roemer revealed that the bullying was so bad for Rudolph that he fled into the woods. 

Once there, he meets the elf Hermey— who becomes Rudolph’s close friend. But, despite the heartwarming story, people are now in an uproar about the bullying narrative. 

Although people are up in arms over the bullying themes, it hasn’t stopped CBS from airing the movie every year. 

Previously in 2018, Corrine Conley, who voiced Dolly in the special, defended the movie in an interview. She disagrees with the critics, saying the special has a happy ending. She also takes it a step further, arguing that the movie helps bullies see why it’s wrong to make fun of someone just because they’re different. 

However, Rudolph isn’t the only movie that viewers are criticizing. For instance, critics have tried to cancel other beloved holiday films such as Love Actually and The Holiday

While many Americans love rewatching these flicks every Christmas, some grinch-like viewers claim the classics should be on the naughty list. 

Users condemn decades-old Christmas classic

In addition, decades-old Christmas classics are also not immune from the scorn of political correctness. Even films that date back to the 1940s have faced the wrath of critics for misogyny.

For instance, Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life has been targeted by viewers who accuse Jimmy Stewart’s character of being “misogynistic” towards the female characters. 

The movie follows George Bailey, a loan banker contemplating ending his life on Christmas eve. However, he later realizes that his life is worth living based on his good deeds for others. 

However, skeptics are still convinced it has toxic themes. “George Bailey was an emotionally abusive and a manipulative misogynist,” wrote one misanthrope, seemingly referencing a scene where George yells at his wife. In another scene, George grabs his wife and kisses her without her consent.

“The scene in It’s a Wonderful Life is an example of both the man imposing himself and the woman deciding to give in to him, rather than resist further,” one irate viewer wrote.