Hallmark Under Fire Again

Hallmark Under Fire Again

When Hallmark announced their new movie line-up for 2020 they once again were chastised by LGBTQ advocates for not having any LGBTQ stories, characters or plotlines in their productions. Hallmark had previously aired a same-sex wedding in a commercial in December 2019 which resulted in a protest of the channel by a conservative group called One Million Moms.

Hallmark yanked the commercial, then reinstated it after a few days of getting scorched on social media.

After dismissing and replacing their CEO, Hallmark has just announced they will develop LGBTQ movies to include in their Christmas content.

One Million Moms is on offense again. One Million Moms posted a petition stating that “so many people feel betrayed by Hallmark over these past seven months,” claiming that families can’t watch “without being bombarded by politically correct commercials and the LGBTQ agenda.” The post goes to cite a verse from the Bible and list what One Million Moms will be boycotting in reaction to Hallmark exploring LGBTQ storylines, characters, and actors: Hallmark Channel, Hallmark wrapping paper, greeting cards, and Christmas ornaments.

For now, Hallmark appears to be holding their ground. One executive released a statement say, “Diversity and inclusion is a top priority for us and we look forward to making some exciting programming announcements in the coming months, including announcements about projects featuring LGBTQ storylines, characters, and actors. We are committed to creating a Hallmark experience where everyone feels welcome.”

Obviously, One Million Moms (or less or more, depending on who you ask) do not feel included. According to the One Million Moms website, the organization began to “give moms an impact with the decision-makers and let them know we are upset with the messages they are sending our children and the values (or lack of them) they are pushing.”

It will be interesting to see how Hallmark intended to deal with this situation. They are bound to be bullied by either side.

Hallmark as a lock on Christmas television, with their endless productions of schmaltzy Christmas movies earning them hundreds of millions of dollars a year. So a lot is at stake with this situation.

Christmas Episode of The Office Quickly Edited to Remove Blackface

Christmas Episode of The Office Quickly Edited to Remove Blackface

A classic Christmas episode of The Office has been edited to delete a scene showing an actor in blackface depicting Zwarte Piet or Black Peter, of Netherlands fame.  The revised version has been distributed to Netflix and other various streaming services that showcase it.

The Office is about a group of people trying to work together with mutual respect despite the inappropriate actions of their boss and assistant manager,” series creator Greg Daniels said in a statement today. “The show employed satire to expose unacceptable behavior and deliver a message of inclusion. Today we cut a shot of an actor wearing blackface that was used to criticize a specific racist European practice. Blackface is unacceptable and making the point so graphically is hurtful and wrong. I am sorry for the pain that caused.”

The so-called “racist” European practice has for years now been embroiled in dispute in the Netherlands where Zwarte Piete has been a tradition for hundreds of years. The character accompanies a strict version of St. Nicholas and serves, in legend, as his “helper”. The legend identifies Black Peter as a Spaniard but in modern day parades dating back more than a century the character is customarily played by a white person wearing blackface. The character in some stories of legends can be mean and dishes out discipline to naughty children. Over time, however, the character has morphed into a more silly persona who plays tricks and gives gifts.

Proponents of the tradition claim the depiction of Zwarte Piet because the blackface is not symbolic of a particular race but of soot from the fireplace. Imported protesters to the Netherlands more than a decade ago claimed it racist and have kept a steady presence at traditional parades to protest. Some times those protests have become violent and have involved children.

The international media, including most in the USA, have accepted wholesale the argument that the tradition is racist, putting pressure on government officials in the Netherlands to clamp down on the tradition. The government in recent years has responded to the controversy by introducing individuals who are without blackface playing the role of Black Peter with the goal in  mind that the blackface would eventually disappear entirely. The solution appealed to almost nobody. The racial protesters said it wasn’t enough and the proponents of the tradition have responded by showing up in the crowd in blackface.

It is doubtful that the actions of the creators of The Office will have any bearing on the blackface tradition of the Netherlands.

The blackface scene was previously included in an old version of “Dwight’s Christmas,” Episode 909, which aired in 2012. The episode has now been replaced on Netflix, and the edited version will added to Peacock in 2021 when The Office moves to its new streaming home there.

In “Dwight’s Christmas,” Dwight tries to get his coworkers in the Christmas spirit using his own family traditions with a Schrute Family Pennsylvania Dutch Christmas. He comes into the office dressed as Belsnickel, a St. Nicholas-inspired character from South German folklore, but Oscar looks up the character and discovers his unsavory roots.

Oscar informs Dwight that Belsnickel’s partner, Zwarte Piet/Black Peter, is “a slave boy often portrayed in colorful pantaloons and blackface.” Dwight replies, “Oh, come on. We don’t blindly stick to every outmoded aspect of our traditions. Come on, get with the spirit of it, you guys!”

He’s then shown grabbing his phone and sending a quick text, which goes to warehouse employee Nate, who is wearing full blackface and dressed as Zwarte Piet. He turns around after Dwight’s text, and later returns to the office Christmas celebration with most of the black makeup wiped away.

This change of the Christmas episode is significant because it is the first revision to a Christmas theme of pop culture related to the holiday to happen. It is not likely to break a lot of hearts either way because tradition of the Netherlands is barely known in the USA. But the change signals a warning that nothing will stop the level of political correctness now prevalent in American society.

We will definitely see more of this kind of thing.

 

South Carolina PTA Boots Santa for Being Religious

South Carolina PTA Boots Santa for Being Religious

Here we go: another absurd, ill-informed and sadly wrong PTA has kicked Santa Claus from school pictures at a public school in South Carolina.

The reason? Because they want kids of all religious backgrounds to be included in the pictures. Santa is being replaced by a “winter wonderland” scene.

Santa is religious?

Show me where Santa is in the Bible, will you? Tell me where Santa has ever given a sermon, said a prayer or uttered a religious thought.

The Supreme Court LONG AGO declared Santa — and Rudolph and Frosty and other characters of Christmas — SECULAR.

Don’t mistaken this for mere political correctness. This is BLATANT religious discrimination. What the PTA in this school is doing is saying “If it can be remotely associated with Christianity, we’ll ban it.” That’s what this is.

It isn’t a War on Christmas. It is a War on Christians.

Get this right. Pictures of the kids are not taken with Jesus. Not a cross either. For years they have done it with SANTA CLAUS. Now they are saying Santa is “too religious”.

That’s an attack, folks.

According to the media reports there have only been mixed reactions to this news.

We don’t believe that for one second. People should be OUTRAGED.

Firefighters Punished for Merry Christmas Billboard

Firefighters Punished for Merry Christmas Billboard

A fire fighting crew from Ohio has received disciplinary action against them for chipping in money to pay for a billboard wishing their community a Merry Christmas.

Seventeen firefighters belonging to one shift, known as Crew 3 or Super Crew 3, have received punishments ranging from reprimands for the firefighters and suspensions and probationary periods for three lieutenants and a captain. In addition, a retired captain has been barred from all fire stations in Lancaster.

The billboard was paid for by the firefighters, who decided that they would show “crew pride” instead of exchanging gifts. The billboard was in place from November 30 to December 15 when it was ordered removed. A city attorney determined it presented a civil liability because the “Merry Christmas” message expressed religious favoritism. Those involved are also in trouble for failing to get permission to take the picture at a Lancaster firehouse while they were on duty.

Once again, the arbitrary decision of one (the city attorney) determines the fate of many proving once again that no good deed goes unpunished.

UK Government Report Says British Christmas Under Attack

UK Government Report Says British Christmas Under Attack

After a year long study a government review reports that British traditions of Christmas are at risk due to growing political correctness.

The report cites the growing influx of immigrants and refugees as causing local officials to overcompensate by doing things like changing the name of a Christmas tree to a “festive tree”.

The study was headed by Dame Louise Casey, the government’s integration tsar. She said a white manager invoked the change in the name of the tree to avoid offending Asian and Muslim citizens.

“What offence did he think he was causing? What did we ever think would be offensive about celebrating Christmas with a tree?” Dame Louise said.

The report also says waves of immigration have dramatically changed the character of some state schools and left Brits feeling unsettled.

Casey blasted local councils for “over worrying” about causing offence. She said that only by promoting “core” British laws, traditions and cultures in every ethnic community can Britain hope to integrate fully and defeat the “hate-mongers” from the far-Right and Islamist extremists who want to divide the country.

The report notes that these sensitivities swing further into dangerous territory than just Christmas trees. In one case officials in Rotherham turned a blind eye to sexual exploitation of children by men of Pakistani background.

“The council and police were in denial about what was happening in their town,” she said. “That was a tragic failure on so many levels, not least for the victims who weren’t heard or whose abuse could have been prevented.”

As we’ve been observing all year the UK is now the leading front in the so-called War on Christmas.