Rudolph Controversy


Classic Media

Let the reindeer games begin! RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER, the longest-running holiday special in television history, will be broadcast Tuesday Nov. 27 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Since 1964, millions of families have tuned in to watch Rudolph and his friends, Hermey the Elf, Yukon Cornelius, and the Misfit Toys, save Christmas. This classic “Animagic” special features a world-renowned musical score from Johnny Marks and the voice talent of legendary performer Burl Ives (Sam the Snowman). Photo: ©Classic Media

Danielle Pancoast, Print Editor

The classic children’s Christmas movie “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” has been receiving negative feedback recently after being aired 54 years ago. Viewers are asking for the movie to be banned from being played on tv due to its racist, homophobic, and exploitative aspects throughout the movie.

This has created some controversy as it is one of the treasured classics that the older generation has been watching for years and has never has an issue with.

“Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” tells a story about a reindeer who is a little different from everyone else. As the title says, Rudolph has a red nosed that lights up, which is not normal compared to everyone else. Once others find out about his unique aspect, he is shunned and criticized for it.

The other reindeer are very judgmental and mean to him, not letting anyone talk to him. He even tried to change himself and hide his nose under a fake one to cover the light.  

Then, one day, santa shows up and actually liked Rudolph’s nose, resulting in santa asking Rudolph to be at the from of the sleigh and lead him through the night on Christmas.

After this, everybody started to accept Rudolph and begin to really like him. He was given one of the most important roles despite his differences.

This story teaches young children that despite their differences, they are special in their own ways and being unique is not a bad thing. Growing up and being in that awkward stage can be difficult for children and it is good for them to have something to relate to and be able to visualize everything working out in the end.

However, this is not how the newer generation sees this movie. Articles have reported parents and teachers claiming that this movie features racism, homophobia, and bigotry with Rudolph’s father, the reindeer games coach, and even Santa Clause all being abusive and bigoted to anyone who stands out.

This means that the way Rudolph is treated throughout the movie is not good for young children to witness. But, they are not considering the outcome and how everything is resolved in the end, with Rudolph becoming liked by everybody.

According to today’s generation, “Rudolph  the Red Nosed Reindeer” should be banned from tv stations and no longer played during Christmas time.

Along with this movie, “A Charlie Brown Christmas” has also been receiving some flack from elementary schools due to biblical content within the movie.