It's December which means all your favorite Christmas specials are set to be broadcast. On Monday, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer will find itself in primetime. The 55-minute long special will air at 8 p.m. ET on CBS. As many know, the film spotlights Rudolph and his journey from an outsider to being the hero of Christmas and leading Santa's sleigh. It's what happens in between, though, that causes some viewers to feel uneasy.
As an adult, Rudolph is the saddest thing ever with the bullying and shaming and mean Santa. Probably not as bad as Nestor the Long Eared Christmas Donkey! Where his mom like, freezes to death or something? And these are children’s shows. No wonder we’re all messed up!— Phyllis (@jerseydevil729) December 3, 2019
Early on in the episode, Rudolph finds himself needing to wear a fake black nose to hide his "different" red nose per his parent's request. He does so to avoid embarrassment, and ultimately is the center of the joke when it feels off and the other reindeer, besides Clarice, make fun of him.
At one point, even Santa Clause gets in on the joke.
Ultimately, you have to blame Santa for the bullying culture at the North Pole. Donner is just middle management. Santa put pressure on his reindeer, so they felt like they had to have the perfect children. #Rudolph #RudolphTheRedNosedReindeer pic.twitter.com/Z7FXMmH7Pd— Mike Timko-Lantern 🎃 (@Oh_TheHorror) December 3, 2019
The scenes of bullying strike a chord with some home viewers.
"Between Rudolph and Hermie...The North Pole seems like the most toxic work environment to ever exist. Ruthless bullying and then banishment to the Island of Misfit Toys," another user wrote.
In 2018, one of the special's voice actors, defended the show in an interview with TMZ.
As I watch Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer , it's incredible the amount of " bullying" going on.— George Sosa (@georgesosa) December 3, 2019
"I don't think that by getting sensitive to bullying that you want to copy it... you want to get rid of it!" Conley said. "And certainly in Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, everyone is reconciled happily at the end of the movie and let's hope in today's society, the things that people are bullying about can also be rectified."
Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer premiered in 1964. It was followed up a decade later by Rudolph's Shiny New Year in 1976.