‘Santa Camp’ Exclusive Clip: Black Santa Claus Burns Racist Letter

In an exclusive clip from upcoming HBO Max documentary film “Santa Camp,” a Black Santa Claus, whose real name is Chris Kennedy, reads a hateful, racist letter he received in front of other Santa Clauses before burning it in a fire.

The documentary film follows the New England Santa Society during a year when its organizers aim to tackle the lack of diversity in the Santa industry. The society boasts a membership of more than 100 professional Christmas performers, and they invite a few new Santas to their annual summer training camp, which aims to help Christmas performers learn the tricks of the trade to perfectly embody the holiday season icon. Joining the camp in the documentary is a transgender Santa, a Santa with a disability and Kennedy, the first-ever Black Santa to attend Santa Camp.

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“I decided to read the letter to let everyone know why I was truly there, and what my experience with simply finding joy for my own family had turned into because of hatred, bigotry, and ignorance,” Kennedy said about the scene. “After burning the letter, I felt a great sense of relief. I had not allowed it to break me or my family and we were about to flip this whole thing on its head.”

Watch the clip below.

Living in Arkansas, Kennedy lives in an area where his neighbor flies a Confederate flag. In 2021, he received an anonymous hate note in response to an inflatable Black Santa lawn decoration he put up for his daughter. He responded by working toward becoming Santa for his daughter, and for other Black families in the South.

“I have learned that it truly does make a difference for people to see a Santa that looks like them,” Kennedy remarked about his efforts portraying Black Santa. “The number of adults that I have met that have genuine tears of joy because they feel they can finally celebrate Christmas. They are happy that their kids will forever have a picture with a Santa that understands and represents them.”

“Santa Camp” debuts Nov. 17 on HBO Max. Check out the exclusive clip above and the documentary’s trailer below.

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