Bunnings Warehouse is under fire for one of its quintessentially Australian Christmas decorations: Outlaw Santa.
The villainous version of Mr. Claus bears a striking resemblance to legendary Australian bushranger Ned Kelly.
He sits on a chestnut pony and wears a helmet very similar to that of the outback bandit.
Since it’s Santa Claus, the $99 inflatable figure also features a sack full of toys and a Santa hat made famous by the Merry Man in Red.
Bunnings Warehouse is under fire for one of its quintessentially Australian Christmas decorations: Outlaw Santa
It’s not clear if the bag of toys is stolen loot – similar to the Grinch – or if it’s meant to be given out to good boys and girls, Santa Claus-style.
It is clear that many people are angry about the bizarre decoration.
“That’s a no from me, it takes away the beauty of Christmas,” said one Santa Claus fan.
“No, it’s tacky and tasteless.” It’s one thing to include him in our history and another to celebrate him in this way. “I find it offensive,” said another.
A third shared the sentiment, calling the Christmas inflatable a “stupid idea”.
Others pointed out that the bushranger was a murderer, particularly a police murderer, and should not be celebrated.
But others thought it was fine.
“I would call him Neddy, I like him,” one person said.
“Ned is a huge part of our culture, he has as much right to be part of Christmas as the kebabs and the octopus!” “I would say it’s a descendant of the policeman (I can’t remember his name right now) , who has a problem with it,” said one woman.
“This is one of the most Australian things I’ve ever seen about them,” praised a third.
Others said they preferred an Australian or outback theme to the snowy pieces that don’t represent Christmas in Australia.
Bunnings announced that the controversial inflatable decoration would remain on sale despite the controversy online.
The decoration is only available in store as stocks sell out quickly
The item will only be available in-store if the retailer cites “low inventory” as the reason for removal from the website.
“Inflatable Santa is part of our Christmas promotional products, which this year includes a wide range of festive inflatable designs,” said Adrian Pearce, General Manager of Merchandise at Bunnings.
Ned Kelly famously died in a shootout with police in 1880 at the age of 26.