From our principal sponsor and fellow Australian nativist, Rupert Murdoch at Fox News:
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.”
The holiday TV classic "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer" is seriously problematic. 😳 pic.twitter.com/dOgqPF3bAP— HuffPost (@HuffPost) 29 November 2018
Old Rupert continues:
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.
In their usual reflexive action, conservatives were quick to condemn this racy take on a favourite Christmas tale. More from the 'doch in the NZ Herald:
On Thursday, Tucker Carlson and political commentator Dave Rubin dissected the HuffPost video for more than three minutes. In a segment titled "Progressives Love Attacking Christmas Traditions," which later warned that "Huff Post Dubs Rudolph Public Enemy Number 1," the pair slammed those who watch films such as "Rudolph" and ascribe notions such as racism and misogyny to them.
"They find something, they kind of destroy that, and they'll move on to everything else that we love," Rubin said, listing popular sitcoms such as "Seinfeld" and "Friends" as examples. "They will literally go for a sunset," he added, suggesting that those who seek to destroy things that were once beloved offer nothing in return.
"That's such a smart point," Carlson replied.
Even based mammie Whoopie Goldberg weighs in:
On ABC's "The View" on Thursday, an impassioned Whoopi Goldberg railed against those who she says are deliberately seeking out issues in the film.
"Where's the problem? It's Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer!" she exclaimed. "Rudolph's the hero, what's the problem?!"
It may be worth winding back the tape a bit to understand this history of this story and why its themes may no longer be appealing to the cutting-edge of liberal thought:
Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer was created by the department store chain Montgomery Ward as one way to save money on some of their annual Christmas promotions.
Robert L. May created Rudolph in 1939 as an assignment for the department store. The retailer had been buying, then giving away coloring books for Christmas every year. Instead, in order to save money, they decided to create their own. In its first year of publication, 2.4 million copies of Rudolph’s story were distributed by Montgomery Ward.
May was picked on as a child due to his small size, so he decided to go with an ‘ugly duckling’ theme since he related. While he was writing, he tested different versions of the story out on his four year old daughter until he and she were both happy with the results. May’s boss did not like it at first, due to the fact that he felt a red nose implies the reindeer had been drinking. But once it was illustrated by Denver Gillen, who worked in Montgomery Ward’s art department and was a friend of Mays, his boss decided to approve the story.
“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” was first printed commercially in 1947. Due to the initial success, it spawned a nine-minute cartoon which was shown in theaters the very next year.
So there you have it. A feel-good outsider-becomes-insider ugly ducking story for young kids to feel included and think about how difference can be a positive in the right situation, or that everyone has a role to play.
Rudolf's refusal to be cowed by his tormentors and his taking up of the challenge to lead Santa's sleigh in spite of his ill-treatment show a form of courage and selflessness that is absent from the 'born perfect' and 'born to kick-ass' themes that predominate female and minority power-figure stories of the day.
I would venture to say that the HuffPo team is having a bit of fun with their clip in order to provoke some kind of reaction out of conservatives and normal people who will have some low-hanging fruit to pick about 'political correctness gone mad' and 'the war on Christmas'. However there is no doubt that there are several things to 'unpack' as to why this diversity-friendly tale is now problematic.
The first and most obvious one is the tone and rhetoric of the characters. Even though these characters are shown the error of their prejudice when Rudolf is the only one who can light the way on a stormy night, the use of 'offensive' terms and portrayals of bullying taint the entire production as offensive. The soft villains of the story come to represent the message and impact of the story itself, rather than the morals that are imparted by the conclusion of the plot.
Much like the rendition of The Producers that was forced to remove all imagery relating to the Third Reich, the snake-meet-tail nature of extreme liberalism drastically inhibits storytelling, even when it serves a pro-diversity agenda.
There is another angle to this story that may have an application to Diversity™. To really push the envelope would mean objecting to the acceptance of Rudolf only on the basis of his utility to the group. Much like the white progressive white who will gush "how good's the food", or alternatively "how good's the sports", or perhaps most famously "how good's the migrant work ethic", the idea that outsiders can only be valued on the basis of their contribution is highly problematic.
It is the suffering, misery and dismalness inherent to the outsider that gives us pause to reflect on our privilege and unique capacity for callousness as Europeans. The idea that we must measure 'em up to see what we get as a reward for enduring their presence only shows how far we have to go in being a truly inclusive and diverse society.