This Tattooed Mall Santa Was Told To Tone Down His Act, & His Fans Are Really Bummed

Ad failed to load

Maybe any burly man with a thick white beard and rockin' some red velvet can pass for Santa, but it takes that special something for someone to take the essence of Santa and make it into their very own. Such is the case for Scott Diethorne, affectionately known as "Santa Scott," a Pennsylvania mall Santa whose antics such as tossing kids over his shoulders for pictures, posing with all kinds of pets, and flashing his "Naughty" and "Nice" arm tattoos has earned him an enthusiastic fanbase and set him apart from the rest. This year, though, the beloved mall Santa was reportedly asked to tone down his act, much to the disappointment and outrage of his local following.

Diethorne had been striking the outlandish Santa poses at malls throughout Middletown Township in Pennsylvania, which is about an hour outside of Philadelphia, for about two decades when it all came to an end this year. Yes, Deithorne is still employed at the Oxford Valley Mall, but the new company managing the mall's Santas has reportedly called it quits on what are arguably the most endearing parts of his schtick in favor of a more traditional mall Santa experience. According to Vice, the local mall reportedly told him that "he couldn't show off his tattoos or fling any toddlers onto his shoulders this season—traditional photos only."

In an emailed statement to Romper, a Cherry Hill Programs management spokesperson explained the decision this way:

Ad failed to load
Santa Scott/Facebook

But Santa Scott fans seem to believe that he had been doing a great job of "delivering a magical holiday experience" by infusing his own personality into Santa's usual "ho ho ho." One of them, Amanda Nagy, took to Facebook to protest the change. "This new photo company won’t allow him to show his tattoos anymore, do fun poses, etc!" she wrote on Nov. 13. "If you guys know him, you know this is all of the stuff he is known for - bring our Santa back!!!'

Ad failed to load

She urged fans not to boycott Santa Scott at the mall, though. After all, those who love him still want him to have work over the holiday. But, delighting children and adults alike as a mall Santa isn't Diethorne's only Santa gig. According to, the 50-year-old father of nine and grandfather of 10 also makes appearances at local photo studios, fundraisers, private parties, and Breakfasts with Santa. He squeezes all that in between Thursday and Sunday each week between Nov. 10 and New Year's Eve, when he takes a break from his regular job as a truck driver in order to be Santa.

Amanda Nagy/Facebook

Scott also spend his evening each Christmas Eve delivering presents to children with special needs, reported. He also shows off his silly side posing with any any every pet people bring to him at his signature pet night. People love it. No wonder they're bummed, as the comments on Nagy's Facebook post illustrate:

Ad failed to load
Ad failed to load

There were others who were more understanding of the company's decision. One commenter who identified herself as a professional photographer wrote that picking the kids up, for example, could present a major liability risk to both Diethorne and the company. A man claiming to also be a professional Santa pointed out that such a job comes with a contract and rules that must be followed.

Either way, those who miss Diethorne's old antics can always visit a private photo studio or hire him to experience it this year. Or simply pay him a visit in his new role.

Ad failed to load

Check out Romper's new video series, Romper's Doula Diaries:

Watch full episodes of Romper's Doula Diaries on Facebook Watch.

Ad failed to load

Ad failed to load

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

8 Things That *Will* Go Wrong Every Time You Plan A Kid-Free Night

The last time my husband and I went out to dinner alone was… actually, I can’t remember. But I can count on one hand how many times I’ve seen a movie in a theater in the last year. Before we had children we used to go out all the time. But even with …
By Liza Wyles

These Photos Of North West Then & Now Will Take You On A Sweet Trip Down Memory Lane

When Kim Kardashian welcomed her first daughter, North West, with her husband, Kanye West, in 2013, her whole life was changed. The social media and reality TV star became a mom for the first time and her Instagram presence took a very adorable turn.…
By Casey Suglia

11 Photos You *Must* Take During The Last Days Of Your Pregnancy

During my first pregnancy, I took a photo each week to document my growing belly. I stopped around 36 weeks, though. I hated how I looked in those pictures, and didn't think I'd want to relive those moments. I was wrong. My second pregnancy was a dum…
By Steph Montgomery

This Is What It Means If Your Pregnancy Test Changes Overnight

The time between when a woman suspects she might be pregnant and when it is confirmed for sure is the longest of her life. Regardless of whether you are hoping for a positive or a negative result, the odds are good that you are sweating bullets when …
By Shannon Evans

6 Red Flags To Definitely Look Out For After Your Baby Falls

The first time my infant son tried to take a few steps, he tumbled and bumped his head on the coffee table. My blood turned to ice in my veins and I froze. There truly isn't anything quite like the feeling a parent gets when their little one gets hur…
By Sarah Bunton

These 9 Instant Pot Recipes Will Make Even The Pickiest Eater Happy At The Table

Like any parent, I've had my share of parenting hits and misses, but one of my favorite "wins" is my daughter's diverse palate. I don't even know if I can take credit for it, but I would like to think I had something to do with her love for lentils, …
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik

Turns Out, Kim Kardashian's Favorite Mom Products Look A Lot Like Your Own Faves

Being a mom is really hard work, especially for the first few months, and Kim Kardashian West is no different in that regard. Now the mother of three, Kardashian says that there are a few products she just can't live without when it comes to raising …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Soda Might Hurt Your Fertility, Study Says, & Here's What You Can Do

Who doesn't love sugary drinks? I stopped drinking soda years ago, but I still love gulping down those fancy Starbucks coffee beverages. I don't have a big sweet tooth, but I am a sucker for sugar-sweetened beverages every now-and-then. Turns out, th…
By Annamarya Scaccia

10 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 30s

If you're like me, you evaluate the pros and cons of any major life decision. When my husband and I were considering starting a family, I thought about my career, education, and financial stability. I wanted to know how a pregnancy and childbirth wou…
By Steph Montgomery

This Woman Thought She Had An Eyelash Stuck In Her Eye. Then It Moved.

I'm not a person who is easily icked out. As a kid, I collected bugs and thought I was going to be an entomologist and asked Santa Claus for ant farms and nets to catch bees. I'm still super curious about anything that flies and crawls, which might s…
By Karen Fratti

5 Red Flags Your Toddler Isn't Eating Enough

Toddlers are notoriously picky eaters, at least in my experience. You offer mashed potatoes, they want french fries. You give them crackers, they scream for chips. It's frustrating, to be sure, but it's usually their way of vying for independence. It…
By Candace Ganger

11 Ways Your Pregnancy Will Be Different If You Have A Boy Vs A Girl

If you've been pregnant before, you might start comparing your previous pregnancies to that of your current pregnancy. A lot of things can change from pregnancy to pregnancy, based on a whole host of different factors (including how well you remember…
By Lauren Schumacker

35 Moms Share The Most Disgusting Things Their Husbands Do

I'm a human being who revels in challenges. I like when people present me with one, especially if they don't think I can meet or succeed it, and I like taking a challenge on, especially if it's unexpected. So when I aimed to uncover the most disgusti…
By Jamie Kenney

How Having Kids In Your 20s Affects You Later In Life

For parents, like myself, who had kids in their 20s, there are a number of questions that come to mind. When you're deciding what your future will look like, you'll likely consider what this means for your health, career, and more down the line. Thin…
By Tessa Shull

12 Moms Share How They Stay Healthy During Flu Season

Unfortunately, we're in the middle of the roughest flu seasons in recent memory. And we’re not totally out of the woods, either. People around the country are still getting the flu, and, sadly, some of them are having to be hospitalized due to flu-re…
By Priscilla Blossom

8 "Mistakes" I'm Glad I Made During My First Pregnancy

As an adult, I've learned you never really stop hating being told what to do. When I was pregnant I was getting instructions at every turn, from doctors, relatives, and complete strangers on the subway. I would nod and smile but then go about making …
By Liza Wyles

Study: Drinking Two Glasses Of Wine A Day Is Good For Your Mind — Here's Why

There’s more scientific proof that a daily drink or two isn't necessarily a bad thing and could have a place in an overall healthy lifestyle. A new study out of the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) in New York found that — in mice, at le…
By Tiffany Thomas

Research Says Eating Carbs Can Lead To A Healthy Pregnancy, So Bring On The Pasta

In the world of me, no food is better than bread. I know it's supposed to be pretty terrible for you, high in calories, low in protein, and full of that modern-day demon, gluten... but guys, it's really yummy. Especially warm out of the oven, when th…
By Jen McGuire

These Photos Of Prince George Then & Now Will Give You Serious Baby Fever

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child in Spring 2018. With all of the excitement surrounding the new baby, it's easy to forget all of the good times that have already passed. The couple's eldest is already well into the sc…
By Azure Hall

This Is, Hands Down, The *Grossest* Thing Babies Do Inside The Womb

Your baby's life in the womb may be safe and warm, but it's also kind of grody. Seriously, the whole process of growing into a human being includes more than a few icky moments along the way. But this is the grossest thing babies do inside the womb b…
By Lindsay E. Mack