Mall Santa Claus of almost 50 years fired after Trump hat photo posted to Facebook

Once again, peoples' online photos are costing them their jobs.


The phenomenon of what people post online causing them to lose their jobs in the real world has claimed another casualty – this time for a Georgia man who has played a mall Santa Claus every Christmas for the last almost 50 years.

Frank Skinner's offense was posting a photograph of himself dressed as Santa and wearing a Trump hat to his Facebook page.

Skinner's decades-long role as Santa included 14 years at the Mall of Waycross and soon after his posting his photo to Facebook, that career soon came to an end.

The Mall of Waycross where Skinner has been a Santa for 14 years

In a statement posted to his personal Facebook profile, Skinner says that he didn't intend to cause a “firestorm by doing that but simply intended to post the photo on my page for a little humor, as I have many friends and family who, like me, support our president.”

Skinner says that shortly after he posted the photo to his Facebook profile someone took a screenshot of the photo and reported it to the mall.

The photo eventually made its way to mall management.

Skinner says that when the photo was taken, the mall was closing and there were no children around.

On seeing the photo, the management at the mall soon requested that Skinner remove the hat. Skinner says that the management acted “as if I wear [the hat] all day.”

Skinner was soon replaced as the mall Santa as the management at the mall investigates.

“I in no way meant to cause anyone discomfort,” Skinner said. “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 have learned a lot from this. Going forward I will keep this in mind.”


Cindy Harper

Cindy Harper is a tech news staff writer based in Maryland, USA. After getting her start in local journalism, Cindy now reports mostly on social media stories for Reclaim. [email protected]