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Social Media Outburst Over Santa Documentary

Deck The Halls With An Angry Facebook

A documentary, I Am Santa Claus, which tells a story of the lives of what professional Santas do in between Christmases has come under fire from rabid social media users due to revealing that one of the Santa professionals was gay. 

In the short time that I've been writing here I feel as though I've already had my fair share of bizarre article titles. Whether or not this one takes the cake I’ll leave up to you – I’m sure that there are more to come.

Regardless, the article title is serious. In true Christmas spirit, some folks decided that the inclusion of a gay Father Christmas was a great transgression on the festivities. People will find anything to complain about these days. Lightsaber hilts anyone?

The documentary follows the lives of four professional Santas. One of the featuring Santas, Jim Stevenson is 73 years old, lives in Texas with his partner and is gay. Santa Jim only recently came out after years of struggling with his sexuality – He even mentions so in the documentary’s trailer. Much of the social media backlash surprisingly came from other professional Santas. Ouch, I’d expect all Saint Nicks to stand together. The reindeer would be ashamed. 

Here are some of the lovely comments left on the film's Facebook page.
‘An abomination to real bearded Santas.'
‘Only in American (sic) can you make a mess of Santa and get away with it, they are all on my very, very, naughty list and they won't be getting off of it anytime soon either.’
'Very bad writers, directors and actors as well, bad very bad!!!'

They’re on your naughty list? You three are on mine. So are your writing abilities.

Mick Foley, a WWE superstar who also features in the film doing a bit of Santa moonlighting himself spoke out against some of the backlash:‘I would dare anyone to watch the film and not like Santa Jim. I think there are going to be two types of reactions to Jim: some will be touched by him, and others will have to work hard to convince themselves that they were not touched by him. Jim clearly does an outstanding job of making children feel special.’

He went onto say that: ‘The hate I was getting from Facebook started to cancel out the joy I should have felt from the film. I hope people will watch the movie before judging and see the struggle to live up to the spirit and legacy of the red suit, to spread joy to others. They will feel the warmth from Jim.'

Tommy Avallone, the film’s director also commented on the issue: ‘We got called the Armageddon of Santa World, we got told we were going to be on the "very naughty" list and that we would stay there for a very long time. Oh, any Santa Claus who actually took the time to watch the movie loved it. Because what we do is show that these are real men. We never said we were going to make a movie about Santa Claus. We're going to make a movie about the people who portray Santa Claus.'

Bigots will sadly always find something to complain about.

What I find most amusing about this whole ordeal is how one of the Santas who spends his time working as a sex club employee didn't receive any negative feedback. I suppose that if Santa is parading around in the nude directing people to private rooms for their orgies it’s perfectly acceptable. Better not be seen holding hands with a man though.

I truly hope that the people who find this issue so abhorrent hurry up and get in the Christmas spirit. This month isn't the time for hate.  Either way, I think I just set the record for most uses of the word ‘Santa’ in an article – I’m now accepting challengers.

Tom has just graduated from University of East London in Creative and Professional Writing. He loves writing and is currently interning as content writer hoping to go further. His other loves include Arnold Schwarzenegger films and his dog. Follow him @TomAtSMF

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Social Media Outburst Over Santa Documentary Reviewed by Unknown on Tuesday, December 09, 2014 Rating: 5
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