HuffPost, a liberal news site, was lampooned after saying Christmas classic “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” was “seriously problematic” over claims that it features sexism and bullying.
“Viewers are noticing the tale may not be so jolly after all,” the outlet’s video said. “And they’re sharing their observations online.”
Among those observations was the suggestion that the TV classic was a story about racism and homophobia, while calling Santa Claus abusive and bigoted.
“Yearly reminder that #Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is a parable on racism & homophobia w/Santa as a bigoted exploitative prick,” read one comment shared by HuffPost. “Santa’s operation is an HR nightmare and in serious need of diversity and inclusion training. #Rudolph,” read another.
"Yearly reminder that #Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is a parable on racism & homophobia w/Santa as a bigoted exploitative prick."
The video also suggests it was problematic that Rudolph's father verbally abused him by forcing him to wear a fake nose to be accepted by others.
Some eagle-eyed social media critics also said the cartoon is sexist because Rudolph’s mom was snubbed after she wanted to help reindeer husband Donner to search for their son after he goes missing. “No, this is man’s work,” Donner says.
But HuffPost's effort to highlight the perceived bigotry of the beloved movie attracted tens of thousands of negative comments, most of them mocking the video.
“Oh look! Something people like and enjoy; let's go ruin it!” tweeted Rebeccah Heinrichs.“If you try hard enough you can find offence in almost anything,” Chloe Westley seconded.
Others pointed out that HuffPost misunderstood the cartoon as the troubling characters learn their lesson in the end. “But... but... the bigoted characters learn they were wrong. It teaches a lesson. It doesn't endorse the problematic stuff,” tweeted Robby Soave.
Even President Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr. weighed in on the topic, tweeting “Liberalism is a disease.”
“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” isn’t the first classic cartoon that was decried as problematic today.
Critics attacked ABC’s “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving,” which first aired in 1973, for seating its only black character, Franklin, alone on one side of the holiday table while all other white friends were seated on the other side.
The special attracted particular criticism this Thanksgiving, with many users lashing out on social media and calling the cartoon racist.