A remark made by Tim Allen in The Santa Clauses series has sparked debate on social media.
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The new Disney+ series sees Allen return as Scott Calvin (aka Santa Claus) as he sets out to choose the next Father Christmas.
The first two episodes dropped on the streaming service yesterday (November 16), and one particular line has caught people’s attention.
In one scene when he’s asked if something is bothering him, Calvin bemoans the fact that “saying ‘Merry Christmas to all’ has suddenly become problematic”.
Filmmaker Scott Weinberg was one of the first to mock the line on social media, prompting others to argue that the show had made up a non-existent issue.
“‘Saying Merry Christmas to all has suddenly become problematic!’ — actual dialogue from the new Disney+ Santa Clause series starring Tim Allen,” wrote Weinberg.
He later added: “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.”
"saying 'Merry Christmas to all' has suddenly become problematic!" — actual dialogue from the new Disney+ Santa Clause series starring Tim Allen
— Scott Weinberg (@scottEmovienerd) November 16, 2022
One person replied to his post: “What kills me with people being so up in arms about the phrase ‘Happy Holidays’ is that a song with that title came out in 1942 and has been popular ever since.”
Another wrote: “Number of people I’ve seen take offence to ‘Merry Christmas’: 0.
“Number of conservatives I’ve seen take offence to the idea they made up that people take offence to ‘Merry Christmas’: So freaking many.”
Someone else pointed out: “We don’t say [Happy Holidays] to not offend. We say it to include. We say it because we acknowledge that there might be things out there we don’t personally observe. Has nothing to do with offence.”
On the other side of the argument, one person said that they had been subjected to a “ten minute lecture” for “accidentally” saying ‘Merry Christmas’ to someone.
In a recent interview with Deadline, The Santa Clauses creator Jack Burditt admitted that there was some “back and forth” over the inclusion of the line.
“This is something that I just think is silly but then I’m like, I don’t know… I mean, look, we also had a joke at one point where Santa is on his rounds, they’re going in for a landing and somebody’s shooting something up at him. And Noel the elf says something like, ‘A war on Christmas!’ I’m like, yeah, I don’t wanna go that far,” said Burditt.