Someone at the Oxford Valley Mall has definitely landed themself on the naughty list this year.
NBC Philadelphia reports on the sad case of a community’s mall Santa being ordered to “tone it down” when it came to the yearly antics he was known for. Santa, going by the name Scott Diethorne, is an instantly recognizable figure within the community for his dual “Naughty” and “Nice” tattoos on each forearm.
While many families come to the mall each year specifically for pictures with Santa Scott, he has now been told he is no longer allowed to appear in the type of photos he’s known for. According to upset residents of Bucks County, he is now only allowed to appear in “traditional Christmas photos”, meaning no more appearances featuring his tattoos or of him making goofy poses with the kids.
According to a statement by Cherry Hill Programs, the company that runs the mall Santa program, they say they are “dedicated to preserving the tradition and image of Santa,” giving this as a reason for limiting what Santa Scott is allowed to do while appearing as Santa. Even so, many in the area seem to prefer a far less traditional Santa in their community.
Families are quite upset at the situation, complaining about the change to the mall and on social media, creating #bringsantascottback to show their support for his original persona. While Santa Scott himself declined to comment on the issue, his daughter was able to be reached and stated that, while he appreciates the support and truly loves his job, he fears that the outcry might endanger his work with the company and as a mall Santa in the future.
With or without the usual antics, though, families are still determined to take photos with their favorite mall Santa this year.