Bad Santa gets the boot

2006-12-06 20:59
London - Harrods has sacked a Father Christmas for his offensive remarks, the world-famous London department store said on Wednesday.

The sinning Santa had his contract torn up after two complaints from customers visiting the Father Christmas World grotto at the store in west London's plush Knightsbridge district.

He had asked one family of South Asian origin whether they should be shopping at a less prestigious supermarket instead, Metro newspaper reported.

He also asked in a lewd fashion whether their teenage daughter fancied staying and sitting on his knee, it said.

A Harrods spokesperson told AFP the Father Christmas involved had made "inappropriate" comments to customers on Monday but stressed these did not involve racial abuse.

"There is no excuse for causing any level of complaint amongst our customers - and even if the remarks were made in good humour, we cannot condone behaviour that offends our customers."

The free-entry grotto has six Santas operating at any one time and is a popular Yuletide tourist attraction, with 76 000 families passing through last year.

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