“Does ‘Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer’ Promote Bullying?”

No wonder a Long Island University professor thinks so: the Christmas ditty spins a grim account of name-calling and game-exclusion and then gives it all an inappropriately “happy” conclusion, thus distracting us from the need for massive therapeutic and social intervention. [KDKA](& Althouse)

P.S. And let’s not even get into “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” “known as the Christmas Date Rape Song” [Ann Althouse]


  • It does not promote bullying. Are their parts of it I want with my kids and wince? Would they – correctly – make it differently today? Absolutely.

    Honestly, it is hard to find a good fairy tale that is not awful in some way. Do I want to ban them? Of course not. But I want to keep them away from my kids.

    CinderElmo is a great remake of Cinderella. I wish Hollywood would make more of those kinds of things.

  • Obviously Santa didn’t do enough back in 1939. He should immediately be fired by the North Pole’s Board of Trustees to protect their image. Don’t even wait until after this season to allow him to retire. Fire him NOW!. It doesn’t matter that he’s put in years of dedicated service to Christmas. No single holiday should invest that much power in any one individual. It’s also apparent that Mrs Claus knew or should have known.

  • One of my favorite Gary Larsen cartoons has a reindeer sitting in an easy chair reading the newspaper. There is a shotgun propped against the wall, and eight mounted reindeer heads on the wall behind him.

    The caption, “All of the other reindeer used to laugh and call him names.”

  • you can not teach children anything without there being a bad example. In Rudolph, the other reindeer were mean to him, but they all later became friends. The obvious moral is: dont judge a book by its cover. These people who advocate the banning of these stories really haven’t a clue.

  • For a while now I’ve felt that the reindeer wouldn’t have accepted Rudolph because of Santa’s sudden favouritism of him. They would’ve just tormented him even more. Suddenly, he’s the North Pole equivalent of teacher’s pet, and we all know what happens to the teacher’s pet.

    That said, the song as it’s presented is actually a good example – in fact, you could consider it one of the earliest examples – of the recent It Gets Better campaign. Rather than ban it, they should be playing it from the rooftops and giving hope to every kid who has ever been bullied. Tell them that hey, one day you’ll be on top of the world. Your hidden talent, your intelligence, heck, even your sexual persuasion is going to open doors for you that no one would have even considered.

  • The word “Christmas” is not mentioned once in the song “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.”

    As a non-Christian, I’m sick and tired of Christians appropriating winter songs to further their idolatrous beliefs.

  • Idolatrous beliefs? With that kind of invective, it is hard to take you comment seriously.

  • Doug, first of all, you make up a straw man. No one suggests anywhere “banning” Rudolph. You then go on to argue that because the overall theme is good, there is no concern with any scene in the movie or story. That’s nonsensical.

    CW, those reindeer follow Santa into some crazy battles. Have you ever seen a North Pole weather forecast? They are like Navy Seals. If Santa says Rudolph is solid, these reindeer are going to fall in line. Remember, when Rudolph’s nose was originally revealed, Santa was not exactly running to Rudolph’s defense (I fault him for this).

  • I think that bullying should encouraged so the pencil-necked geeks like you and me will get our revenge later by using our brains to get rich.


  • I always hated the ‘Rudolph’ song for exactly that reason. I was cheered immensely when I first heard Jack Johnson’s version, in which Rudolph doesn’t forgive his tormentors:

    “Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer
    you’ll go down in history.”
    Well, Rudolph he didn’t go for that
    He said, I see through your silly games
    How could you look me in the face
    When only yesterday you called me names?
    Well, all of the other reindeers, man,
    They sure did feel ashamed,
    “Rudolph you know we’re sorry,
    we’re truly gonna try to change”

  • As a human, I’m sick and tired of people taking offense where none is intended. Quit playing the victim and just get on with life!

  • I don’t like when people take offense when none was intended. But that has nothing to do with the subject of this blog post. There should be some requirement that the comment have some relation to the topic. Banning Rudolph, taking offense where none is taken, Joe Paterno… none of these things should be part of the conversation.