A classic holiday special has some viewers seeing red this year.
According to the Washington Post, critics of the 1964 movie "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" are taking to social media to blast the film, claiming it promotes bullying and bigotry.
The controversy appeared to take flight Wednesday after HuffPost tweeted a video titled "Rudolph the Marginalized Reindeer." The post highlighted what some believe are "problematic" scenes from the movie.
"Former fans are pointing out Rudolph's father verbally abuses him," the video says, later adding that "Clarice's dad is a bigot."
>> See the video here (WARNING: Profanity)
Some Twitter users made similar observations.
"It's that time of year to really consider the meaning of Rudolph and how in the culture it's okay to bully someone until the thing that makes them strange is useful to everyone else. Always a horrible story," @gadlaw6 wrote.
"Santa let them bully Rudolph and joined in the shaming until his freak disability became useful," @goggleboi tweeted.
But fans fired back, arguing that Rudolph's triumph over adversity sends a positive message.
"The true message of Rudolph isn't that weirdness is bad until it can be exploited," podcaster Joshua D. Scroggin tweeted. "It's that everyone has value, and you shouldn't be mean to someone just because they're different. It's a lesson for the bullies, not the bullied."
Even public figures from opposite sides of the political spectrum – Donald Trump Jr. and Whoopi Goldberg – seemed to support Rudolph.
"Rudolph's the hero!" Goldberg said Thursday. "What's the problem?!"
Thank you for reading the Springfield News-Sun and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.
Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Springfield News-Sun. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.