Rudolph is sexist and racist: ruining your childhood one cold hard truth at a time


Rankin Bass - Screenshot of the film

Rudolph and his elf friend Hermey discuss their marginalization and the discrimination they face.

You know Dasher, and Dancer, and Prancer, and Vixen, Comet, and Cupid, and Donner, and Blitzen. But can you recall… their blatant sexism and racism?

That’s right folks. Fasten your seatbelts, as I take you on a journey through the derogatory comments and all-around toxic messages taught by the favorite holiday movie Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. This is Rudolph like you’ve never seen it before!

  1. You know those adorable reindeer learning to fly and joking around, playing their reindeer games? Racists. All of them.

Obviously, as the song goes, they laugh and call Rudolph names because he looks different from everyone else. It could be the classic story of learning how to put aside prejudices and accept others no matter what color their nose is. But no, that’s not the direction this tale turns. The other reindeer only learn to accept Rudolph when he becomes useful to them. This toxic message is basically teaching children that, even if you’re different, people will only like you when you can do something for them. If Rudolph’s nose couldn’t light up the night sky, you can bet on it that he’d be doing some janitorial reindeer job in a basement somewhere while the other deer taunted him for the rest of his days.

  1. Rudolph’s dad is completely sexist.

When Rudolph goes missing, his mother is understandably upset, and offers her help in the search for her lost son. Think that’s going to fly with Donner? That’s a no. He responds with, “No, this is man’s work.” This seems ridiculous to me but is actually a line from this special. Oh, of course, man’s work. Momma Reindeer’s delicate constitution would prevent her from going out into the cold, cold night to look for her one and only son. Give me a break. And then from this point it only gets worse. After the death of Cornelius Yukon, the narrator tells us, “Well they are all very sad at the loss of their friend, but realize that the best thing to do is to get the women back to Christmas town.” Here we go again. Let’s get those frail women back home so they can cook us up some carrot stew or whatever reindeer eat while we men do the heavy lifting. Could this get any more 60’s?

  1. Santa is a slave-driver and a flat out jerk.

Santa’s got all of his little elves working for him non-stop, busting their butts to make all these toys for the good little girls and boys, and all the while Santa’s sitting on his backside, stuffing his ungrateful face with dinner and pouting to his wife. And the elves aren’t only making toys for him, they’re also prepping for this huge performance of this song and when they’re done singing it to Santa, he doesn’t even clap! He says it “needs work!” And every time he hears the song, he’s plugging his ears and complaining about the music that the elves made for him!  I think this grumpy Santa needs to be put on his own naughty list.


Hopefully, this analysis has enlightened you to the insidious messages of the seemingly innocent Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Merry Christmas to all, and stay woke.