On Wednesday night, Huffington Post, warming up for its Christmas-bashing season, reissued a tweet from 2017 in which it attacked the TV classic “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” Calling it problematic and citing tweets from viewers labeling Santa as a “bigoted exploitative pr***,” HuffPo lambasted Rudolph’s father as verbally abusive and a patriarchal nightmare and the school coach as a bully.
Titled “Rudolph, The Marginalized Reindeer,” the video starts with the other reindeer calling Rudolph names, such as “fire snout,” “rainbow puss,” and “red schnoz.” Rudolph turns to them and cries, “Stop calling me names!” As the video continues with scenes from the story, the screen reads. “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is a holiday classic that returns to TV each holiday season, but lately, viewers are noticing the tale may not be so jolly after all and they’re sharing their observations online.”
The screen then shows various tweets attacking the classic, with statements such as, “Yearly reminder that #Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is a parable on racism & homophobia w/Santa as a bigoted exploitative prick,” and “Santa’s operation is an HR nightmare and in serious need of diversity and inclusion training. #Rudolph.”
HuffPo continues, “Former fans are pointing out Rudolph’s father verbally abuses him.” “Santa berates Donner for his son’s nose.” “The school coach encourages bullying.” “Donner forbids his wife from joining the search for their son.” “Clarice’s Dad is a bigot.” “Even the elf is an outcast for wanting to be a dentist.”
The video concludes with one last tweet in which someone writes, “An appropriate bit of wisdom for #Rudolph. It’s good we don’t fit in. It means that we aren’t assh***s.”
Of course, HuffPo misses the point; in the end, Rudolph is redeemed, the guilty parties apologize, and there’s a happy ending. Still, it’s awfully thoughtful for HuffPo to be so concerned about the welfare of children watching the show, awfully compassionate for HuffPo to worry about the deleterious effects of such depraved entertainment. Especially because HuffPo runs pieces that show how much they care about the innocence of children, like this one from March 2018 in which the author says to “make every class sex education.” The article stated:
There’s a way to end this century-long trend, in which sex ed lands low on the list of learning priorities, whether begrudgingly or by design: Make every class sex education.
Picture this: Preschoolers practicing consent by asking each other before hugging or pushing on the swings. Kindergartners calling “private parts” by their anatomical names without shame in science. Middle-school students of all genders learning not just about “managing” menstruation in health class but also how it is experienced across cultures, from the surprisingly deregulated American tampon industry to how lack of access to feminine products keeps African girls out of school. Teenagers analyzing romantic scenes in in English class. Students of all ages contemplating philosophies of free will and asking how sex shapes history, from defining marriage to policing prostitution to Roe v. Wade.
Yup, it’s Rudolph who’s the real threat.