Actor and comedian Tim Allen has defended the portrayal of Christmas as a fundamentally religious holiday in his new Disney+ series “The Santa Clauses”—which has just been renewed for a second season—after criticism that some of the show’s elements lean too far to the right.
As the last episode of The Santa Clauses mini-series was released on Wednesday, Allen told Fox News in an interview that he’s pleased with the way the franchise handled the theme of Christmas.
“We honor the Christian tradition without heralding it. It’s not—it is what it is. It’s a Christian holiday. So, we don’t belabor it, but we don’t ignore it,” Allen told Fox News. “I love the way we deal with it.”
Season one of the mini-series premiered on Nov. 16 and its launch was met with criticism by some Twitter users, who zeroed in on a remark Allen’s character makes in the show.
‘Merry Christmas’ Problematic?
Allen’s character in the series, Scott Calvin (aka Santa Claus), is asked in one scene if something is bothering him.
Calvin bemoans that “saying ‘Merry Christmas to all’ has suddenly become problematic.”
Filmmaker Scott Weinberg posted the quote on social media on Nov. 17, along with a critical take.
“It just struck me as a truly weird thing to put in a kid’s series. ‘<Someone> wants to stop us from saying Merry Christmas!’ is not some random campaign. It’s a low-key effort to vilify anyone who doesn’t celebrate this holiday. In a grown-up movie I’d just groan and ignore it,” Weinberg wrote in a follow-up tweet.
Weinberg’s remark prompted a number of users to claim that the show was rehashing a conservative trope about canceling Christmas.
“Number of people I’ve seen take offence to ‘Merry Christmas’: 0,” one user commented.
“Number of conservatives I’ve seen take offence to the idea they made up that people take offence to ‘Merry Christmas’: So freaking many,” the individual added.
By Tom Ozimek