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A recent television airing of Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer has sparked an ongoing debate as to whether the Christmas special's message is a bit dated for today's society. Now, an actress who voiced one of the characters in the Christmas tale is speaking out. Corinne Conley shared her opinion on the recent viral criticisms of Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, and how she felt about the classic's perceived messages about bullying.
I would say that it's more relevant now than ever, because there is so much going on. But I mean, it's all reconciled in Rudolph, and surely people wouldn't love it so much if it left a resonance of bullying. It wouldn't be so indelible in people's hearts. I've got to tell you, having been in it and having a list of credits over the last 60 years, people read my credits and say, 'Oh, you were in Rudolph.' And they start to cry. Now, I don't think they are associating Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer and bullying.
Corinne Conley, who voiced the doll on the Island of Misfit Toys and other characters, said that while Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer does feature bullying, Rudolph is ultimately rewarded later in the film. Conley explained that the plot showing how Rudolph eventually becomes the most famous reindeer of all should dissuade viewers from bullying. Conley continued and said that if there are those who take an opposite viewpoint and think the bullying is justified because of that, then they're like Scrooge.
Conley's response to TMZ about Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer came after criticisms behind the message that Rudolph was forced to cover his nose and was bullied by others once his abnormality was discovered. Corinne Conley's right in saying it all turns out well for Rudolph at the end, but not before he runs away from home and lives amongst outcasts. It would stand to reason Rudolph could've ended the same way without bullying, as bad weather conditions would've surfaced eventually.
To Corinne Conley's point, there's little payoff for the bullies' actions in Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, as they're no longer relevant in the back half of the story. Had Fireball ended up the head of the reindeer team and started razzing Rudolph the moment he stepped up to the sleigh it may have been a different story. Instead, Rudolph stands tall as the big hero of Christmas, and his name "goes down in history" for saving the day.