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Sorry Santa, you’re too white, straight and male, poll finds

Sorry Santa, you’re too white, straight and male: Young people now want Father Christmas depictions to be black, Middle Eastern or Asian as 60% vote he should be gay and 45% want him to be a woman

  • Santa is too white, too straight and too male for young people in the UK today 
  • Poll found 60 per cent of 18–24-year-olds think Father Christmas can be gay
  • Around 50 per cent said they were happy for an ethnic minority Santa
  • YouGov poll commissioned in response to Norwegian ad showing him kiss a man 


Santa Claus is too white, too straight and too male for most young people in the UK today, according to a poll.

The modern depiction of Father Christmas as an old white man with a big bushy beard who wears a red and white suit was made globally famous by Coca Cola’s adverts of the 1930s. 

A survey by YouGov has now found that 60 per cent of 18–24-year-olds in the UK think it is ‘acceptable’ for Santa to be gay.

But 41 per cent across all age groups said it was not OK, including 17 per cent of lesbian, gay and bisexual respondents.

The results were largely divided along age and gender, with just 36 per cent of men and 42 per cent of women believing it is fine to have a gay Santa. Nearly 60 per cent of over-65s thought it was not OK.

And around 50 per cent are happy for an ethnic minority Santa, with most favouring a Middle Eastern Santa – perhaps a nod to his origins as Saint Nicholas, a 4th Century monk who lived in Turkey.  

A poll by YouGov has now found that 60 per cent of 18–24-year-olds in the UK think it is ‘acceptable’ for Santa to be gay. But 41 per cent across all age groups said it was not OK, including 17 per cent of lesbian, gay and bisexual respondents

The survey was commissioned in response to an advert which showed Santa kissing a man

The survey was commissioned in response to an advert which showed Santa kissing a man 

Around 50 per cent are happy for an ethnic minority Santa, the YouGov poll found

Around 50 per cent are happy for an ethnic minority Santa, the YouGov poll found

The modern depiction of Father Christmas as an old white man with a big bushy beard who wears a red and white suit was made globally famous by Coca Cola’s adverts of the 1930s

The modern depiction of Father Christmas as an old white man with a big bushy beard who wears a red and white suit was made globally famous by Coca Cola’s adverts of the 1930s

The YouGov poll also found that respondents mostly agreed that Santa should not be a woman – despite divisions over race and sexuality. 

Around 45 per cent of female respondents said they thought that Father Christmas should be a woman. 

Respondents in the UK were less open to a non-white Santa than those in the US, where two-thirds of those surveyed in a similar poll said they were happy to see a black Santa, and 60 per cent were comfortable with him being Asian or Middle Eastern. 

The poll was commissioned in response to a Norwegian advert which showed Father Christmas kissing a man. 

Around 50 per cent said they were happy for an ethnic minority Santa, with a Middle Eastern Santa having the highest level of acceptability – perhaps a nod to his origins as Saint Nicholas, a 4th Century monk who lived in Turkey

Around 50 per cent said they were happy for an ethnic minority Santa, with a Middle Eastern Santa having the highest level of acceptability – perhaps a nod to his origins as Saint Nicholas, a 4th Century monk who lived in Turkey

The YouGov poll also found that respondents mostly agreed that Santa should not be a woman – despite divisions over race and sexuality. More than half (56 per cent) of female respondents also said they thought that Father Christmas should be a man

The YouGov poll also found that respondents mostly agreed that Santa should not be a woman – despite divisions over race and sexuality. More than half (56 per cent) of female respondents also said they thought that Father Christmas should be a man 

Critics have claimed the ad, released to mark 50 years since the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Norway, had sexualised Santa

Critics have claimed the ad, released to mark 50 years since the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Norway, had sexualised Santa 

Critics have claimed the ad, released to mark 50 years since the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Norway, had sexualised Santa.

Matthew Smith, YouGov’s head of data journalism, said the results reflected ‘a broader set of attitudes on making changes to firmly established pop culture figures’, after similar questions were raised about James Bond.

He added: ‘This suggests that opinion towards Father Christmas is not unique to the character himself’. 

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk