'Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,' Charlie Brown and other holiday classics sparking controversy

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While the holiday season brings a lot of joy, this time of year isn’t always holly and jolly — often bringing controversy alongside the turkey and bow-wrapped presents.

A few holiday classics — ranging from films to songs — have sparked an uproar in recent days, with some critics making claims of racism and sexism.

Read on for a look at some of the most highly debated holiday classics this year.

“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”

HuffPost made headlines after the online publication tweeted a video alleging the Christmas classic “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” is a “bigoted” film that features bullying and sexism.

“Viewers are noticing the tale may not be so jolly after all,” the outlet’s video stated. “And they’re sharing their observations online.”

The video aggregated online responses to the classic film, citing one person who claimed the movie presents racist and homophobic components. The video also alleges Rudolph's father, Donner, verbally abused his son, while also stating the cartoon reindeer made a sexist comment to Rudolph's mother when he forbade her from searching for their son after he went missing.

“No, this is man’s work,” Donner says in the film.


But many people who viewed the video disagreed, writing on Twitter that the publication missed the mark.

“Rudolph was about a reindeer who showed others that being different is a good thing. It showed viewers that just because you may be different doesn't mean you can't overcome difficult obstacles in life,” one person argued.

“This 54yr old children’s movie teaches lessons of acceptance, equality, forgiveness, perseverance. It teaches people not to be judgmental, it teaches it’s ok to be & to accept those different from yourself. All lessons people could still learn today. That’s hardly problematic [in my opinion],” another wrote.

“A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving”

ABC’s “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” was also hit with backlash this year. Critics slammed the classic film as racist, citing the portrayal of the film’s sole black character, Franklin.

During the holiday feast scene, Franklin is seen sitting alone one side of the table while many of the film’s white characters are seated together on the other side. Franklin also appears to be sitting in an unstable lawn chair, which causes him to topple over at one point. The other characters appear to be seated in sturdier-looking chairs.

“Why is Franklin in Charlie Brown Thanksgiving sitting all by himself at the table. Man. Things that I did not notice as a child,” one person wrote on Twitter following the 1973 film’s airing the day before the turkey-filled holiday this year.


“They give our friend the busted chair and won’t even sit on the same side of the table, more proof that Charlie Brown and his cohorts are RACIST,” wrote another.

But as one Twitter user noted, “Peanuts” creator Charles M. Schulz was a “trailblazer” who “bucked racism.”

“Seriously please get some historical context. Charles M. Schulz was a trailblazer and bucked racism in those days by adding Franklin to reflect the issue… and challenging what was then going on in society,” Mark Larson, a radio show host in California, tweeted.

“Baby it’s Cold Outside”

A radio station in Ohio removed the 1944 classic holiday song “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” from its playlist after determining the lyrics are “very manipulative and wrong,” Star 102 Cleveland, the station which removed the song, wrote in a statement.

A few lines in the song which are traditionally sung by a woman — such as “Say, what's in this drink?” and “the answer is no” — were points of controversy.

The station noted the song was written in a “different time,” adding the #MeToo movement was at the center of its decision to remove the song.

“The world we live in is extra sensitive now, and people get easily offended, but in a world where #MeToo has finally given women the voice they deserve, the song has no place," it added.

Fox News' Lukas Mikelionis contributed to this report.