Everyone loves a good Christmas film, with Disney’s The Santa Clause franchise being up there as one of the best, but the new sequel series is proving to be slightly problematic.
Tim Allen is best known for playing a role in many people’s childhoods, having voiced Woody in Toy Story and played Santa himself in the three The Santa Clause movies. It’s the reprisal of the latter, however, that has found him in the social media spotlight, with the new Disney+ series The Santa Clauses featuring a line that is threatening to cancel the whole show.
16 years after ‘The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause’ hit our screens, Allen is back in his festive suit playing the man who quite literally defines Christmas. A line taken from the first two episodes of the mini-series has left viewers feeling less than merry and bright, arguing the show and its creators have tried too hard to make the show politically correct instead of bringing the spirit of the holidays to the audience.
The premise of the new instalment in the Santa Clause franchise is that Tim Allen’s character Calvin is on the hunt for someone to take up the role of Father Christmas following his retirement. When asked how he is, Calvin replies by saying he’s “fine” aside from the fact that “saying ‘Merry Christmas to all’ has suddenly become problematic”, with that line being held in a chokehold on Twitter.
Filmmaker Scott Weinberg started a spat on the social media platform by tweeting his shock at the line, only to be followed by mixed responses from some equally-outraged individuals as well as others who shared their negative experiences from uttering the often-cheery phrase to a stranger. It seems that the expression has ruffled quite a few feathers, both related and unrelated to The Santa Clauses.
The PC joke’s inclusion has left some watchers feeling excluded, sparking a negative reaction against those who don’t celebrate Christmas. On the day of the first two episodes’ debut on Disney+, Weinberg found himself caught up in defending his call out of the phrase, explaining that his Jewish heritage means he doesn’t personally celebrate the worldwide holiday and the dig at those who don’t wasn’t well received by non-christian communities.
Whether it was a harmless joke or not, some people were offended as a result and scripts nowadays need to be more carefully written to ensure no viewer feels attacked. Unfortunately, the writing somewhat missed the mark this time around.
Canceling certainly wasn’t an issue when the first films in The Santa Clause saga were released, but all problematic phrases aside, we should still be able to enjoy the series and feel as festive as we previously have when watching Tim Allen in his big red suit. It’s nearly Christmas, after all!