"Politically Correct" Charlie Brown merchandise in Hallmark store

I did a bit of shopping yesterday and was enjoying seeing some new merchandise coming in the stores for Christmas. The outdoor mall I was in has a Hallmark Store so I thought I'd pop in there and see what they have for this Christmas season.

Being a Peanuts fan, I was happy to see an entire line of character dolls with the "Press Here" stickers on their feet, so obviously they say or sing something and I thought I'd find out what. I picked up Linus first and pressed his foot. I was pleasantly surprised to hear him reciting his speech about what Christmas was all about. Until I realized he left out something. That something was "Christ the Lord".

Then I saw a sound book entitled "A Charlie Brown Christmas" and picked that up, pressed some sound buttons and leafed through it. Surprise, a page seemed to be missing. There was a description of Linus coming to the stage and speaking on one page and, turning the page, a description about Charlie Brown deciding that he knew the true meaning of Christmas, however no speech by Linus, no biblical quote, and no mention of "Christ the Lord".

Is this an attempt by Hallmark to be politically correct in order to please those customers who might be "offended" at something that mentions that Jesus at Christmas? I think so. Your thoughts.

If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck . . .:rolleyes:

They gutted the part that made the whole show work - even on a simply artistic level it's stupid.:mad:

What is the story even about then? That page is rather important to the plot. Are they still dressing up for a nativity play at least, or is it just a story about an ugly Christmas tree now?

You know, I didn’t even check to see if they were dressing for the nativity play! Darn. Should have flipped back a few pages. I just saw that page was missing and said to myself, “Well, I guess Hallmark is taking Jesus out of Christmas,” and left. I actually had to be careful not to spend much time in there since I needed to get a bus soon, but I would have been tempted to stay a little longer if that page had been in the book!

I wouldn’t necessarily be too quick to blame Hallmark. They’re just the one’s stocking the merchandise. Or did they manufacture it as well?

I think they do manufacture this merchandise as it had their name on it. Perhaps they didn’t design it, though.

I was kind of surprised at the omission because of the movies that Hallmark puts out. In fact, I think Hallmark produced The Christmas Box which towards the end speaks of the “first gift of Christmas” being a child. Of course, it was produced many years ago even though it plays on TV every year. Love that movie, even if it is slow-moving. It seems it is always the first Christmas movie I watch on TV.

We used to get the hallmark channel, and I think they actually aired Mass occasionally! I'm sure it wasn't EWTN style, but Mass is Mass.

[quote="CAROLOFTHEBELLS, post:1, topic:218956"]
I did a bit of shopping yesterday and was enjoying seeing some new merchandise coming in the stores for Christmas. The outdoor mall I was in has a Hallmark Store so I thought I'd pop in there and see what they have for this Christmas season.

Being a Peanuts fan, I was happy to see an entire line of character dolls with the "Press Here" stickers on their feet, so obviously they say or sing something and I thought I'd find out what. I picked up Linus first and pressed his foot. I was pleasantly surprised to hear him reciting his speech about what Christmas was all about. Until I realized he left out something. That something was "Christ the Lord".

Then I saw a sound book entitled "A Charlie Brown Christmas" and picked that up, pressed some sound buttons and leafed through it. Surprise, a page seemed to be missing. There was a description of Linus coming to the stage and speaking on one page and, turning the page, a description about Charlie Brown deciding that he knew the true meaning of Christmas, however no speech by Linus, no biblical quote, and no mention of "Christ the Lord".

Is this an attempt by Hallmark to be politically correct in order to please those customers who might be "offended" at something that mentions that Jesus at Christmas? I think so. Your thoughts.

[/quote]

Sounds like it. Sad.:blush:

Were Charles Schulz still alive, this would NOT have happened. He had to fight the powers that be tooth and nail back in the early sixties to have that scene in the show; I can't imagine he'd let Hallmark or whoever was responsible for this omission get away with it. :mad:

Oh, and just to make sure I didn't accidently skip a page in the book or that two pages weren't stuck together I tugged on the page a bit and flipped it back and forth. (Didn't harm the merchandise, though.) I was hoping I missed something, but no luck.

Well, I have to give kudos to Knott's Berry Farm and the Cedar Fair management (who manage the park) for continuing to use the full speech in their Christmas shows. Hallmark needs to follow their example.

From online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704471204575209712652591970.html :

Snoopy has a new home.

Brand manager Iconix Brand Group Inc. announced Tuesday that it has acquired the Peanuts brand from E.W. Scripps Co. in partnership with the heirs of Charles Schulz, who created the comic strip featuring Snoopy and his owner, Charlie Brown.

Iconix and the Schulz family will pay about $175 million for the brand, with Iconix controlling an 80% share.

The deal includes the broader licensing business of the Scripps unit United Features Syndicate, which includes the cartoon character Dilbert, a hero to cynical office workers, and children’s book heroine Fancy Nancy.

Iconix owns and licenses two-dozen consumer brands, ranging from Badgley Mischka couture to Joe Boxer underwear. The Peanuts deal marks the company’s first foray into what are known as “character-based” properties. It’s buying into an already huge Peanuts licensing platform, with more than 1,200 licenses, including arrangements with MetLife Inc. and Hallmark Cards Inc.

The Peanuts licenses generate annual retail sales of more than $2 billion world-wide, according to Iconix. “This asset is a dream for a marketer,” said Neil Cole, chief executive of Iconix, who said his favorite Peanuts character is Charlie Brown.

“Neil and his team have great respect for who the Peanuts characters are and they honor all we have accomplished, and the spirit with which we do business,” said Jean Schulz, Mr. Schulz’s widow.

Looks like they don’t after all, Mrs. Schulz. :nope:

As a creative person, it makes me leery - I mean, I don’t know if I’ll ever write, draw, or design anything that will get famous :shrug: - but if I did, I’d probably wish it hadn’t, because ultimately anything like that gets bought out for profits and the creator’s original intent gets lost in the push to make a quick buck.:mad::frowning:

I bought the book. Linus' speech is in it in FULL. If you press the Linus sound button, you will hear the entire iconic speech about the true meaning of Christmas. It is beautiful, heart-felt and completely accurate. Go look again. Sometimes things aren't always what they seem at first glance. Hallmark got it right; you had it wrong. Hope this helps.

After reading this thread, I came across the book in question. The page with Linus quoting the gospel isn't there(and they are dressed for a nativity play).It goes from Linus saying he can tell Charlie Brown what Christmas is about on one page to Charle Brown saying maybe Linus is right on the next.

Maybe there are two different versions of the book.

[quote="love13, post:13, topic:218956"]
I bought the book. Linus' speech is in it in FULL. If you press the Linus sound button, you will hear the entire iconic speech about the true meaning of Christmas. It is beautiful, heart-felt and completely accurate. Go look again. Sometimes things aren't always what they seem at first glance. Hallmark got it right; you had it wrong. Hope this helps.

[/quote]

Oh I'm so glad! : ) I will go and look at it again. I was in the Hallmark Store about 10 days ago and they may have moved that merchandise because I didn't see it. I didn't have time to look around much. I did see the most adorable big, fluffy Snoopy that I wish I could have next to my pillows on my bed. I picked him up and hugged him. : )

I'll be glad to see if Hallmark got it right. Quite frankly, though, I think it was rude to say, "You got it wrong." There is no need to say something hurtful. I was smiling all through your post until I read that. You were the bearer of good news.

I guess from Hallmark's Point Of View, more people will buy the Figures if you leave out the "Religious" Content.

Ultimately it comes down to Maximizing Sales. Like it or not. (And Unfortunately).

In a way I understand it. But on the other hand, I'm still Sad. :blush:

Hi, all. My name is Justin. I am with Fleishman-Hillard and we work closely with Hallmark's PR team. Love13 is right that Linus' whole speech is included in the product if you use the stuffed Linus as well as the text and audio from the book together when reading the story. Here is a more detailed explanation from Hallmark's Consumer Services team:

*"The quote is not printed in the book, but there is a sound button that coordinates with the page Linus is on. When you press the sound button, you hear Linus' speech, which is true to the TV show.

"The page specifically states, 'Sure, Charlie Brown,' replied Linus. 'I can tell you what Christmas is all about.' Linus crossed to the center of the stage. The lights dimmed, and a spotlight shown down on him." That's when you press the button to hear what Linus said." *

Sorry, we realize from consumer feedback that the process can be a bit confusing. But I wanted to make sure to share that the words and the sound work together to tell the whole story. So when you get to the page where Linus is on stage, and you see the Linus icon, you can push the button to hear Linus's whole speech from the TV show.

Hope that helps and that you all have a Merry Christmas :).

Wow, Justin, that was so nice of you to post! Just the idea that you realized we were here having this discussion about the product and you took the time to join and post this information makes me feels wonderful about Hallmark and those who represent it. And now we have no doubt that Hallmark cares. Have a Merry Christmas too, Justin!

Merry Christmas to you too, Justin! Thanks for stopping by and giving us the “inside” scoop on the book. It was quite refreshing.

@CarolOfTheBells @Corki Absolutely, glad we could help clear up the questions about the product. Thanks so much for your interest in Hallmark and enjoy the holiday :).

Best,
Justin

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