A Penticton mall’s decision to permanently stick a local Santa on the naughty list after he posted a few “personal” photos online has become a debate on political correctness among Black Press Media readers.
Gary Haupt, known to many as the city’s Santa Claus with his cheerful smile and white beard, was supposed to work this Christmas season at Cherry Lane Shopping Centre.
However, a complaint about photos he shared on Facebook, including a picture of him in his Santa getup reaching down to grab a friend’s breasts, resulted in his termination.
Haupt said the photos were taken in jest.
Some readers say the mall was right because he primarily interacts with children when Kris Kringle, but others are calling for the bosses to get into the Christmas spirit and cut him a break.
Here’s what Black Press Media readers have to say:
“No he shouldn’t of been fired he’s not an actual real Santa Claus Give me a break people he’s a fantasy character.” – Dan Tarabas
“He should have known better. Not the first time his behaviour was questionable. He’s a role model for kids, he should have had his act together.” – Ernie Jantzen
“This is absolutely ridiculous. He was the best Santa we have had. What he did in his own personal time is his own business. Absolutely disappointed in the administration for letting this man go for enjoying his free time after spending so much time making all of our children light up with Christmas cheer.” – April O’Sullivan
“What a damn shame.. he should not have been let go.. seriously this society is nuts. Cannot talk, nor play without ruffling someone’s feathers!” – Judith M Haynes
“Of course he’s naughty. That’s why he needs Rudolf!!!!”– Susan Finlayson
What do you think?