A new postal service ad in Norway has some people shaking their heads after it featured Santa Claus kissing-not mommy, but daddy. The Norwegian Postal Service or "Posten Norge" as it is known locally put a homoerotic spin on the classic hit Christmas song by featuring St. Claus as a gay man.
The almost four-minute ad was uploaded to the postal service's official YouTube account on Monday and has amassed more than 400,000 views as of writing. The title was another spin on a classic film, "When Harry Met Santa."
"Posten is an inclusive workplace with great diversity," Posten is an inclusive workplace with great diversity marketing director Monica Solberg said during a conversation with LGBTQ Nation. The commercial was created in celebration of 50 years since homosexuality was decriminalized in Norway. Solberg added, "In 2022, Norway marks 50 years of being able to love whoever we want."
According to the New York Post, Norwegian pro-LGBT postal service ad showed a shirtless man named Harry gazing lovingly at Santa Claus as he goes up the chimney and months later, feeling sullen because he would have to wait another year to see Santa again. Unable to contain his feelings, Harry writes a letter to Santa, saying, "All I want for Christmas is you," a nod to Mariah Carey's best-selling holiday tune. Harry eventually gets his wish and spends Christmas with the fictional bearded old man who delivers gifts during the holidays.
The controversial ad ends with Santa Claus relinquishing his gift-delivery duties to the Norwegian postal service, so he could spend more time with Harry over the holidays. Solberg explained, "This year, Santa is happy that Norway Post can relieve him a little, so that he can be with the one he loves."
Commenter Errant Bard disapproved of the Norwegian pro-LGBT postal service ad, writing, "Subverting tradition much. If you want to make new gay characters associated the holidays then fine, but why change that which already is? It's distasteful at best."
Bard added, "I'm all for gay representation in new characters, but you keep changing historical ones to suit a narrative and that narrative is to undermine and destroy the cultural backdrop of Europe."
This is not the first time Santa Claus has been portrayed as someone other than a straight, white male. PEOPLE reported that Disney has introduced Black Santa Claus characters in Disneyland Anaheim, California and Disney World in Orlando for the first time in the theme park's 66 year history.
According to a Disney spokesperson, Santa Claus is represented differently in various communities around the world and "in that spirit, Santa Claus will reflect the diversity of surrounding communities at both Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort."
Theme park social media influencer Victoria Wade commended Disney's move to add more diverse representation to their slew of characters, saying it made her feel "more accepted, welcome, and...thrilled" for its effects on "children of all backgrounds" who visit the theme parks.