Sunday, June 16, 2024

Minn. Paper Had to Disable Comment Section on Story of Mall of America’s 1st Black Santa

Santa Larry Jefferson poses for a photo with Kingston Strong, 2, of Minneapolis at the Santa Experience at Mall of America. (LEILA NAVIDI, Star Tribune)
Santa Larry Jefferson poses for a photo with Kingston Strong, 2, of Minneapolis at the Santa Experience at Mall of America.

*The Minnesota Star Tribune posted a profile of Mall of America’s first black Santa yesterday that must’ve drawn a ton of racist hate in the comment section, because it was soon snatched away.

According to editorial page editor Scott Gillespie, the Star Tribune disabled commenting for the article just hours after it was posted.

No further explanation was given, but Star Tribune reporter Liz Sawyer, who wrote the piece, told the Daily Dot, “We routinely turn off comments on articles involving racial issues—as we do with public safety stories.”

Sawyer’s story profiles Larry Jefferson, a retired U.S. Army veteran from Irving, Texas who became the first black Santa hired by the Mall of America in the mall’s 24-year history. The Santa school graduate was found at a Santa convention in Branson, Missouri during a nationwide search. He has suited up as Santa for 17 years and he’s working at the mall this weekend, through Sunday.

The Star Tribune reports that he’s fully booked Saturday and Sunday, with limited openings for today and a waitlist, too.

“This is a long time coming,” Landon Luther, co-owner of the Santa Experience, which has run the intimate photo studio at the mall for 10 years, told Star Tribune. “We want Santa to be for everyone, period.”

With the comment section unavailable, folks tweeted their frustration over the story’s fallout:

We Publish News 24/7. Don’t Miss A Story. Click HERE to SUBSCRIBE to Our Newsletter Now!

YOU MAY LIKE

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

SEARCH

- Advertisement -

TRENDING