Set Santa Scott free!
Visiting Santa Claus at the mall and taking pictures is a holiday tradition that many hold near and dear to their hearts. Most of the photos that are taken show children sitting happily on Santa’s lap after they tell him what they want that year, but others are just for fun.
Santa Scott prefers to take unconventional photos with his fans, and he’s created a solid following. Yet, his new employers don’t appreciate his work and want him to be totally traditional much to the despair of his biggest supporters. This community is demanding that Santa Scott is given free reign over his pictures.
Meet Santa Scott
Twenty years ago, Scott Diethorne was approached by a career mall Santa and told that he should take up the craft since he looked like the jolly old soul. Scott took that advice to heart, and he started appearing as Santa Claus at places like the King of Prussia Mall and Christiana Mall. Over the decades, he’s built up a following not just for his Santa-like look but for his quirky personality.
Scott is a truck driver most of the year, but his boss allows him time off to bring joy to many dressed as Santa. It’s a role that he takes very seriously and with great joy.
Santa Scott, as he’s lovingly called, has “Naughty” and “Nice” prominently tattooed on his forearms which he uses in his photos if the customer requests it. He also claims that he’ll pose with any creature that can be pet.
He’s taken tons of pictures with dogs, birds, and even a friendly alligator. Santa Scott’s fans also love that he’ll take non-traditional photos where he holds children upside-down to make them laugh.
No Tats Allowed
This Christmas season, Santa Scott got a gig at Oxford Mall in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. His fans were ready to come get their annual photos with him, but they were told that Santa Scott would not allowed to take any photo other than a traditional Santa picture.
Cherry Hill Programs, who runs the photo service, said about their unpopular decision,
“During this special time of year, we are focused on delivering a magical holiday experience. We remain dedicated to preserving the tradition and image of Santa with authentic holiday visits for every guest to our programs.”
Scott, who is a father of nine and grandfather to 11, cannot comment on their decision due to contractual obligations, but his daughter Megan Greene expressed how saddened she was that her father couldn’t take his unique pictures with those who loved them so much. She told Philly.com, “He wants to make everyone happy. I feel like his happiest time of the year is Christmas.”
Bring Back Santa Scott!
Santa Scott’s fans were so outraged by the photo service and mall’s decision that they’ve called, sent angry emails, and commented on Facebook pages to try and get them to reverse the rule. “This new company needs to get it together and give the people what they want! We want the tattooed, fun santa who does the fun poses!!” Facebook user Jennifer Lynn commented on the Oxford Valley Mall page.
User Bob Kelly said that his pets are missing out on their holiday fun. “We’re the ‘different’ couple that bring in our three pythons and one red tail boa. We get our ‘serious’ pictures done first and then some fun ones, such as Santa with his tattoo’s out holding all four of them on his arms,” they said.
Megan hopes that people won’t boycott his events though because she doesn’t want him losing out on any income. “I feel, personally, that if they are really his fans, they’ll go see him anyway,” she said. “I want people to know he’s still there.”
Luckily, a photo studio called Crush Photography has allowed Santa Scott to use their space for “uncensored” photo sessions where people can have as much fun with their photos as they want.
What do you think about the mall’s decision to cover up Santa Scott’s tattoos? Let us know in the comments and SHARE this story!