For the first time, Disney includes black Santa Clauses in Christmas celebrations

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Without an official announcement or fanfare, Disney parks across the United States are including black Santa Clauses in Christmas 2021 celebrations for the first time in the company’s 66-year history of theme parks.

At both the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, and the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, a black Santa Claus was seen at certain non-business meetings and Christmas parties.

A Disney spokesman told CNN International that Santa Claus is represented in many ways in local and regional communities around the world — and in that spirit, Santa Claus will reflect the diversity of neighboring communities at Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort.

Disney parks are the last place families can see a non-white Santa Claus portrait, with more black Santas appearing in recent years in malls, and in a recent commercial for Oreo cookies.

On Friday, Old Navy is running Santa Bootcamp, an inclusive online training program that encourages participation “from a wide range of backgrounds, ethnicities and cultural heritages to provide more representation in the role of Santa Claus.”

A Twitter user posted: “I’m sure I just saw the first black Santa Claus at Walt Disney World and I’m really crying tears of happiness.”

Another netizen, contrary to the demonstration, commented on the news, saying that “everyone knows that Santa Claus is not black, they shouldn’t make a black Santa Claus just for the sake of public relations.”

Some users responded to this, saying that “everyone knows Santa Claus isn’t real.”

“I feel more comfortable”

Theme park digital influencer Victoria Wade, who is black, commented on social media about the inclusion of a black Santa Claus in Disney parks. “I never in my life thought Disney would actually put a black Santa Claus in the parks.”

The move left her emotional and more likely to spend money at the parks’ Christmas parties, she said in the publication.

“With Disney implementing this change as part of their diversity and inclusion initiative, it really allows me to feel more comfortable when I visit the parks,” she told CNN.

“Ultimately, it makes me feel more accepted, welcome, and I’m excited about what it will do for kids of all backgrounds when they visit Disney parks.”

(*This text has been translated. Click here to read the original in English)

Reference: CNN Brasil

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