Santa Claus racially abuses Asian family

Harrods sacks Santa over family race complaint

5th December 2006

The right Claus: Santa keeping the magic of Christmas alive

A Harrods Santa has been sacked after complaints that he racially abused an Asian family who came to visit his grotto.

Santa allegedly asked the family: "What are you doing here? Shouldn't you be shopping in Tesco?"

When the family - thought to be British - started to leave, he is said to have lewdly asked whether their teenage daughter wanted to stay and sit on his knee.

The family complained about the incident, which happened on Monday afternoon at the Knightsbridge store.

Yesterday, a Harrods spokesman apologised and said the Santa responsible had been fired.

Harrods' grotto - or Father Christmas World as the store calls it - is considered one of the best on the High Street.

It has played host to the children of the Beckhams, the Duchess of York and Hollywood stars such as Demi Moore.

The free attraction is hugely popular and at peak times there are six Santas operating simultaneously.

However, insiders claim the experience has lost some of its sparkle over the past year as managers try to increase efficiency, although this is strongly disputed by the store.

Earlier this year, ten of the longest-serving Father Christmases - who are each paid 105 a day - were fired in a cull dubbed the 'Santa Massacre'.

One former Santa said: "The managers were angry because the old boys were spending too long with the children and wouldn't agree to a production-line mentality to speed up the number of visitors."

A spokesman for the store said: "Harrods holds its customers and their enjoyment of the store in the very highest esteem, so having received a few complaints relating to the treatment of adult family members visiting our Christmas grotto, we promptly sought to identify the cause of the problems.

"We were able to identify the individual in question and having investigated the complaint thoroughly we terminated his seasonal contract yesterday.

"There is no excuse for causing any level of complaint amongst our customers.

"It's also very sad that these incidents may ruin the enchantment of the grotto for our younger customers who still hold dear the fantasy that there is only one Father Christmas."

Health and safety laws, meanwhile, have grounded a Father Christmas who annually raises 8,000 for charity.

Santa usually perches high on his float as the procession passes through Leighton Buzzard in Bedfordshire.

But the local Round Table, which organises the fundraising float, was told to find 600 to insure the 'moving display' - or Santa had to have two feet firmly on the ground.

They also have to install a protective barrier on the lorry which carries the float - even though it only moves at 5mph and has never caused an accident-Faced with having to find so much money, the group has opted for static locations around the town which will significantly reduce donations.

Local Round Table chairman Dave King said: "It was only something we found out from our insurance company after we got advice from the Round Table nationally.

"We have even been told that since a change in the seat belt laws a few years ago, Santa has been breaking the law by not being strapped into the vehicle."

The National Association of Round Tables Honorary secretary, Peter Manley, said: "Nationally, Round Table provides public liability insurance to cover all major events.

"However, in the case of Santa sleigh trailers attached to motor vehicles, any insurance is the responsibility of the local Round Tablers."
I think not
Quote: Originally Posted by BlackleafView Post

The free attraction is hugely popular and at peak times there are six Santas operating simultaneously.

I wouldn't even know where to begin explaining that one to my Godson.
I love Santa.

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