Though reported last month, this strange move by Santa Claus recruiting firm, Westaff in Australia, has just recently come to my attention.
Yahoo news reports:
Santas in Australia's largest city have been told not to use Father Christmas's traditional "ho ho ho" greeting because it may be offensive to women, it was reported Thursday. Sydney's Santa Clauses have instead been instructed to say "ha ha ha" instead, the Daily Telegraph reported.Reponses to this move were swift and unanimous. News.com.au reports:
One disgruntled Santa told the newspaper a recruitment firm warned him not to use "ho ho ho" because it could frighten children and was too close to "ho", a US slang term for prostitute.
“Gimme a break," Julie Gale, who runs the campaign against sexualising children called Kids Free 2B Kids, said.
"We are talking about little kids who do not understand that "ho, ho, ho" has any other connotation and nor should they. "Leave Santa alone."
Australian Childhood Foundation chief executive officer Dr Joe Tucci said it was the latest example of political correctness gone mad.
"There is no stronger tradition for children than Santa's ho, ho, ho," Dr Tucci said.
We note that Mrs. Claus has not yet made any public comments respecting Mr. Claus' actions.
UPDATE: Web debunkers Snopes says that the story is false. Judge for yourself.