Seth Rogen has addressed the critical response to Santa Inc., claiming “tens of thousands of white supremacists” are to blame for the HBO Max series’ overwhelmingly negative reception.
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The show’s first (and presumably only) season was released in full on Thursday (December 2), and has thus far been majorly panned by audiences. On IMDB, 90.6 per cent of 5,236 viewers rated Santa Inc. one star; it holds an aggregated score of 1.1 out of 10, making it the lowest-rated TV series in the site’s history.
Over on Rotten Tomatoes, just three per cent of the viewers that rated Santa Inc. gave it a favourable score. The site doesn’t offer a Tomatometer from professional critics at the time of writing, as there currently aren’t enough to meet the criteria for one. That said, journalists haven’t been entirely kind to Rogen’s claymated comedy about a female elf (played by Sarah Silverman) and her ambitious plan to become the next Santa.
Variety, for example, described it as “a televised lump of coal” and said its overzealous reliance on adult humour left it “feeling dour and heavy”. The Hollywood Reporter gave Rogen and co. props for the show’s timely commentary on capitalism, but said its jokes were “repetitive and self-satisfied”.
Hitting out at the swathe of negative scores, Rogen tweeted on Friday (December 3) that Santa Inc. had “really pissed off tens of thousands of white supremacists”. The filmmaker – and voice of Santa Claus in the show – predicted that replies to his tweet would validate the sentiment shared; of the first 50 replies, only two seem to agree with him.
We really pissed off tens of thousands of white supremacists with our new show #SantaInc which is now available on HBOMAX! (Please read the responses to this tweet for confirmation)
— Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) December 3, 2021
Santa Inc. had also drawn controversy prior to its release, with its trailers being targeted by alleged far-right hate groups spreading antisemitic comments (a majority of the show’s producers and cast are Jewish). As reported by The Daily Dot, several of those comments were posted by verified accounts with over 100,000 followers.
Earlier this week, Rogan admitted he was “extremely high” when he sat in the front row of Adele’s recent US television special, telling Jimmy Fallon that he and his wife had smoked a “tonne of weed” before the show.
Back in September, Emmys producers Ian Stewart and Reginald Hudlin took aim at Rogen for the comments he made about the ceremony’s unsafe COVID-19 protocols. Rogen had criticised the size of the room and the safety measures in place, saying at one point in his monologue: “We’re in a hermetically sealed tent right now. I would not have come to this! Why is there a roof?”