Christmastime is a time for family, a time for feasting on prime rib as the snow falls outside and hot chocolate is enjoyed by children while adults partake of eggnog. Christmas is also a time for watching holiday specials, including such classics as Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and the always-depressing Charlie Brown Christmas.
But, as with everything, the social justice warrior community cannot let people simply enjoy their holiday season and watch campy films. They have released, through the Huffington Post, a lovely hit piece about the 53-year-old film ‘Rudolph’, accusing it of being racist, sexist, homophobic, and more.
The main takeaway from the angry screed hosted at HuffPost is that “deviation from the norm will be punished unless it is exploitable,” according to people who apparently watched the movie once and managed to completely miss the point of Rudolph’s life story.
— cassie martino ✨ (@CassMartino) November 29, 2017
Rudolph is a Hollywood classic that centers around themes of being a misfit. Rudolph is the son of Donner, Santa’s lead reindeer, and his wife, who is unnamed. Rudolph is made fun of because, just as in the song, he is an awkward and strange reindeer with a nose that randomly glows red. His parents try to help him by covering his naturally red nose, but it just makes it worse when his natural nose color is discovered by his playmates.
When Rudolph has finally had enough, he tries to leave the North Pole and make a life elsewhere. He meets Hermey, an elf from Santa’s workshop with a strangely annoying voice. Hermey doesn’t want to make toys like the rest of the elves. Hermey wants to be a dentist. Together, they begin to search for a place where they belong, running into Yukon Cornelius, a zany prospector and mountain man with a beard that would put any hipster to shame.
Together, they journey to the Isle of Misfit Toys, where the toys ask Rudolph to beg Santa to find them homes. As with every children’s story from the time, everything is eventually made right; Rudolph’s nose helps Santa fly through the storm and saves Christmas, Hermey opens his own dentist’s office, and Yukon convinces the Abominable Snow Monster to cease being abominable and to be helpful to the locals.
Certainly sounds like a horrific and bigoted tale of how it’s completely alright to be terrible towards everyone who is different, doesn’t it? Donner is cruel to his son, the other reindeer are cruel to Rudolph, the elves and Santa are cruel to Hermey, it’s almost like the entire story is about being cruel to those who are different.
However, that ignores the entire end of the tale, where those who are different are accepted into the society with open arms, and even become celebrated. Rudolph saves the day, proving that even though he is odd, he has value. Hermey is welcomed back with open arms, Yukon Cornelius learns the value of friendship and realizes that the silver and gold ornaments on the tree are more important than his lust for wealth, and even the much-feared Abominable Snow Monster of the North (also known as Bumble) becomes a friend to the elves and reindeer.
The story of Rudolph presents the vindication of everyone who was bullied throughout the story, and the bullies are portrayed poorly until such time as they make amends. It’s not about how awesome it is to be cruel to the unusual or different, it’s about how treating them like that is senseless and cruel, and how such people have as much value as anyone else in society.
Everyone in the story has value, from Donner, the head of the team that pulls Santa’s sleigh, to the misfit toys who feel they’re unwanted and uncared for. The conclusion that the film is a celebration of hatred or of cruelty toward the different is one that could only be reached by people seeking for reasons to be offended.
Watch the film above to determine for yourself the message. It likely won’t be anything similar to what the Huffington Post suggests to be the theme of the story.