Actor Tim Allen has recently reprised his role as the jolly old Christmas elf, Santa Claus, giving his critics plenty to complain about this joyous season.
Because Allen, 69, has openly expressed conservative political views in recent years, left-wing critics everywhere are lamenting that a supposedly “right-wing Santa” will appear on television screens across the country.
Two episodes of Allen’s new Christmas series, “The Santa Clauses,” are currently available for streaming on Disney+. The six-part miniseries is a follow-up to Allen’s 1994 smash hit movie “The Santa Clause” and its sequels, “The Santa Clause 2” and “The Santa Clause 3.” In the original, Allen’s character, Scott Calvin, unwittingly assumes the role of Santa Claus. Now, nearly 30 years later, Calvin realizes that even Santa grows old and cannot live forever. The premise of the series is Calvin’s search for a suitable replacement.
However, many critics either cannot or choose not to separate Allen’s private political opinions from the characters he plays on TV. Many have panned the series, claiming that the “right-wing Santa” has ruined the magic of the series.
Most of their complaints stem from a single line uttered in one scene in one episode. At one point, Calvin observes that “saying ‘merry Christmas to all’ has suddenly become problematic.”
“People should just be able to celebrate the reason for the season but Tim Allen is over here shoving his politics down our chimney!” ranted Brett White of Decider.
“To suggest [the line] strips the story of some of its charm is an understatement,” opined Rick Marshall of DigitalTrends, who elsewhere determined that “right-wing Santa is weird.”
Mary Kate Carr of the AV Club implied that Allen’s Santa is a delicate snowflake in need of a safe space when she wrote, “Perhaps the big man needs a ‘cute yet safe playpen somewhere’ to deal with the anxiety that not everyone celebrates his favorite holiday.”
When asked about the controversy regarding the line, show writer Jack Burditt responded: “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,” Burditt added. “And Noel the elf [who rides with Santa] says something like, ‘A war on Christmas!’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, I don’t wanna go that far.'”
As might be expected, critics on Rotten Tomatoes have given the series a 58% approval rating, while audiences have given it a 77% approval rating.