For many, the Rankin/Bass Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer stop-motion animated television special is a staple of the holiday season. In more recent years, it's come under criticism for the way it portrays bullying and for teaching the wrong messages. That trend continues this year with viewers commenting online about the special.
In 2018, one of the special's voice actors, Corinne Conley, defended the special, arguing that the people complaining are missing the point of the special. "I would say that it's more relevant now than ever because there is so much bullying going on," she said. "But I mean it's all reconciled in Rudolph and surely people wouldn't love it so much if it left a resonance of bullying it wouldn't be so indelible in people's hearts and believe me I've got to tell you having been in it and having a list of credits over the last 60 years, people read my credits and say 'oh, you were in Rudolph!' and you know, they start to cry,. Now, I don't think they're associating Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer with bullying or at least bullying that hasn't been reconciled."
Nonetheless, viewers -- including many former fans of the special -- have taken to Twitter ot share their complaints about the program. Here's what they're saying:
Rudolph is on, and although I loved it as a kid, now the bullying and lack of acceptance just piss me off. pic.twitter.com/nxcBj5W1Rd— JoAnne won NanoWriMo (@DarthRedhead) December 3, 2019
Between Rudolph and Hermie.... The North Pole seems like the most toxic work environment to ever exist. Ruthless bullying and then banishment to the Island of Misfit Toys— Shane Nazzaro (@shanenazz) December 3, 2019
Ultimately, you have to blame Santa for the bullying culture at the North Pole. Donner is just middle management. Santa put pressure on his reindeer, so they felt like they had to have the perfect children. #Rudolph #RudolphTheRedNosedReindeer pic.twitter.com/Z7FXMmH7Pd— Mike Timko-Lantern 🎃 (@Oh_TheHorror) December 3, 2019
Rudolph is not a heart-warming story. It's a story of bullying, exploitation, and only valuing others based on what they can do for us. https://t.co/maK1rFcQRL— Greg Schmidt (@GregAtTrawna) December 1, 2019
50 years ago when Rudolph and Herbie were misfits they ran away from home. Today they would show up with Cornelius and the Abominable and destroy Santa’s castle as revenge for the brutal bullying they both endured. pic.twitter.com/YJOeSa8WQl— John B Dunlap III (@JBDunlap3) December 3, 2019
As I watch Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer , it's incredible the amount of " bullying" going on.— George Sosa (@georgesosa) December 3, 2019