“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” may be a favorite holiday film for many, but it’s recently come under attack on social media. In a viral video tweeted by the Huffington Post last Wednesday, critics are accusing the 1964 movie of being “seriously problematic” and encouraging bullying.
Titled “Rudolph the Marginalized Reindeer,” the video addresses how both Santa and Rudolph’s dad, Donner, shame the young buck for his red nose. “Former fans are pointing out Rudolph’s father verbally abuses him,” it says, referencing the fact that Rudolph was forced to flee his home until his nose became useful to the others.
The clip goes on to point out other troubling scenes, like when the school coach tells the other reindeer, “From now on, gang, we won’t let Rudolph join in any reindeer games, right?” or when Hermey the elf is belittled for wanting to be a dentist.
The holiday TV classic "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer" is seriously problematic. 😳 https://t.co/dOgqPF3bAP
— HuffPost (@HuffPost) November 29, 2018
While some viewers agree with the video, which has been viewed over 5.8 million times so far, others are defending the Christmas classic, saying the main theme is actually about celebrating differences and learning to accept others.
“That’s ridiculous. In the end, they all realize they mistreated Rudolph, and apologize. That’s how life goes, as much as we may want to prevent pain for others we can’t always. It’s a lesson in recognizing when you’ve treated others unfairly, and correcting it. Leave Rudolph alone,” read one tweet.
Even the film’s actors are speaking up, including Corinne Conley, the voice of doll Sue in the original movie. She told TMZ, “I just can’t imagine it affecting anyone in a negative way,” pointing out that any bullying is resolved by the end of the movie and that it actually teaches kids a very valuable lesson. “I would say it is more relevant now than ever.”