A shopping mall Santa Claus in Waycross, Georgia, was fired after being seen wearing a Donald Trump campaign hat after hours while sitting in his Winter Wonderland display.
Veteran store Santa Frank Skinner, 50, was fired from the Waycross Shopping Center last Thursday after mall manager James White saw a photo of Skinner wearing a Trump hat sitting in the store’s Santa chair, according to First Coast News.
White Jumped to action after being made aware of the photo.
“We were not aware it happened,” White said about a picture. “It was done completely without our knowledge.”
“It’s safe to say he will not be wearing this hat around here. This particular Santa has been replaced,” White snarked after firing Skinner.
White also posted an apology to shoppers:
“We apologize for this occurrence and will be addressing this right away. The Mall at Waycross does not support any specific political party. Thank you for bringing this to our attention. Kindly, Mall Management,” the notice read.
But Skinner reiterated that the photo was taken after hours when no one was around, and certainly not when any kids were present.
“I in no way meant to cause anyone discomfort,” Skinner wrote on his Facebook page. “At the time I thought it was harmless fun. Now I realize in this day and age that I should not have posted it. Obviously, it did offend some folks. I can assure everyone that was not my intent.”
“I certainly was not trying to create a firestorm by doing that but simply intended to post the photo on my page for a little humor, as I have many friends & family who like me, support our president,” Skinner added. “I knew they would enjoy the photo and get a laugh.”
“I have enough common sense to know that when a child approaches you while in a Santa suit that your role is to be Santa. It’s never Santa’s job to bring politics into the fray,” he said.
“I have always done my best to be the finest Santa I could be,” Skinner concluded. “People who know me know my character. They know that I don’t take my role lightly. When a child comes to me I sing, dance and yes, even pray with them if they have a prayer need. I have been blessed to pray for many. I feel like God has chosen me for this role and have had many testimonies as I look back.”
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