Actor Tim Allen Just Gave the World a Whole New Reason to Hate Him

Tim Allen roles cancelled
Credit: Disney/Kalamazoo Police/Canva

He’s Buzz Lightyear. He’s Scott Calvin and Mike Baxter. He’s Santa Claus. Love him or hate him, actor and comedian Tim Allen has built a career on comedy, breathing life into interesting characters, and speaking his mind. And this week, he has given some of his haters around the globe a whole new reason to throw him under the bus.

Tim Allen Santa

Credit: Disney

Tim Allen’s Career Began on a Dare

Over the years, Tim Allen has become a household name. But his career began from far more humble beginnings. Almost 50 years ago, in 1975, Allen kicked off his career as a comedian on a dare from a friend. The move landed him as a participant in a comedy night at a local comedy club in Royal Oak, Michigan, just outside of Detroit.

While he was living in Detroit, he began to gain local notoriety, appearing in local television commercials and comedy shows. But before he would make his break into film, Allen would face his own demons and even serve time in prison.

Tim Allen Goes to Prison

In October 1978, Tim Allen was arrested at the Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport. He was charged with possession of more than 650 grams of cocaine.

tim allen mugshot

Credit: Kalamazoo Michigan Police Department

Following his arrest, Allen pleaded guilty to felony charges involving drug trafficking and agreed to provide the names of other dealers in exchange for a far lighter sentence of just three to seven years in prison. He served two years and four months in a federal prison in Sandstone, Minnesota, before being paroled on June 12, 1981.

Allen’s story up to 1981 reads like many of those who got started in life, made a really poor decision, and went to jail. But his story didn’t stop there. In fact, it was just beginning, as he was determined to turn things around for the better.

Allen Turns the Tide

After Allen was released from prison, he continued his pursuit of an acting and comedy career, and his efforts finally paid off with his film debut as a baggage handler in Tropical Snow (1988). But his very next role would serve as his springboard in Hollywood–and ultimately land his name on the tip of Americans’ tongues went they discussed prime-time sitcoms.

tim allen home improvement sitcom

Credit: Disney/ABC

Tim Allen landed the role of Tim “the Tool Man” Taylor on ABC’s Home Improvement, which debuted in 1991. The show, produced for ABC by Wind Dancer Productions, follows the daily adventures of the Taylor family living in Michigan–Tim, played by Tim Allen, his wife Jill, played by Patricia Richardson, and his three sons, Brad, Randy, and Mark, played by Zachary Ty Bryan, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, and Taran Noah Smith, respectively.

Tim and his assistant Al Borland, played by actor Richard Karn, are hosts of a do-it-yourself television show, Tool Time, where there’s always more adventure than expected as things blow up, shock the two hosts, and more. But the real stories within the series take place at the Taylors’ home and outside with next-door neighbor, Wilson, who serves as the voice of wisdom in the show.

abc sitcom home improvement tim allen disney

Credit: Disney/ABC

In 1994, while Allen was filming weekly episodes of Home Improvement, he took on his first role as Jolly Old St. Nick in Disney’s The Santa Clause–a role that would fit him for the rest of his career. The film was so popular that it led to sequels in 2002 and again in 2006. More recently, the franchise has grown to include a spinoff series, The Santa Clauses, on Disney+, the first season of which debuted in 2022 and also stars Tim Allen’s youngest daughter, Elizabeth Allen-Dick.

the santa clauses eric stonestreet

Credit: Disney+/Canva

Allen has also taken on other Disney roles, the most notable of which is that of Pixar’s Buzz Lightyear in the Toy Story film franchise, for which Disney CEO Bob Iger recently contacted both Tim Allen and Tom Hanks to confirm their roles in the fifth film in the series.

But it’s Allen’s role in the Disney+ series The Santa Clauses that has been among his most controversial of late–but only for those on social media who simply don’t like the guy.

The Santa Clauses

Credit: Disney

Ridiculous: Allen Lands in Deep . . . Snow

Allen plays Old St. Nick himself in The Santa Clauses, a Christmas-themed series on Disney+ that follows Scott Calvin, a dad who, nearly three decades ago, took on the role of Santa Claus. But after all that time, his magic is beginning to fade. He’s challenged with the many tasks required in his role, and once he discovers a new Santa “clause,” he’s forced to think again about his role as Santa and as a father.

In the first episode of Season One of The Santa Clauses, Allen landed himself in deep . . . snow . . . but not because he did anything offensive or said anything wrong. Rather, many online took issue with nine simple and harmless words spoken by Allen’s character, Father Christmas himself.

Related: Are You Serious? Disney’s ‘The Santa Clause’ Among Christmas Films Coming Under Fire This Season

In a scene at the North Pole, Allen’s Santa Claus is seated at the table with his elves for a meeting. Allen’s character seems as though he’s perplexed, and when he’s asked whether something is bothering him by another elf, he responds by saying that things are ok, except that “saying ‘Merry Christmas to all’ has suddenly become problematic,” and the internet nearly broke in half. It was laughable.

Some falsely accused Allen and Disney of forcing religion on viewers–with just those nine words. And while it seemed like a non-issue to some, to others, the “lightning rod” line in the episode was out of place and willfully preachy. The accusations were nothing short of ridiculous, and Allen must have agreed because he didn’t back down.

Before the series debuted, Allen had promised that the new Christmas-themed series would feature religious themes.

tim allen santa clauses board meeting

Credit: Disney+

As with every other incidence of cherry-picking under the sun, the so-called “problematic” quote debacle eventually got quieter, but not because of a resurgence of peace on earth or goodwill toward men extended by Allen’s naysayers.

Rather, the former Home Improvement actor landed himself in front of the proverbial firing squad yet again only days later when several news media outlets began reporting about the actor’s admitted insistence on keeping Christ in Christmas in the Disney+ series.

The Santa Clauses Series

Credit: Disney+

Allen said in an interview about the series that the original plot for The Santa Clauses had a few elements he didn’t want as part of the storyline because he wanted the series to focus on “Christ-mas” and the true meaning behind the season.

Related: What the World Needs in the New Year is More People Like Tim Allen

“It originally had a lot of otherworldly characters, ghosts, and goblins,” explained Allen. “I said, ‘No, this is ‘Christ-mas.’ It’s ‘Christ-mas.’ It literally is a religious holiday. We don’t have to blow trumpets, but I do want you to acknowledge it. That’s what this is about. If you want to get into Santa Claus, you’re gonna have to go back to history, and it’s all about religion.”

Controversy erupted yet again as those who didn’t see eye-to-eye with Tim Allen took to social media to air their nastiness and hatred toward him.

saint nicholas and tim allen

Credit: Disney+

Here We Go Again

And this week, the hatred for Tim Allen is again one of the most trending topics on X, formerly Twitter, and the reason for the hatred is nothing short of asinine. In fact, it took some digging for this writer to even discover anything about the so-called basis for the anti-Allen banter online.

On Monday, X was abuzz with hate for Tim Allen’s allegedly egregious comments about animals, though so far, this writer hasn’t come across the actual quote. According to thousands of comments, however, the actor and comedian made a comment related to an animal’s inability to love, and you would have thought Allen had called for the immediate death of anything on four legs.

X user KT wrote in a post, “Per Tim Allen, animals aren’t capable of love…so, what does it mean when a dog licks you? Or for example, a man goes hiking with his dog, he has an accident and dies. When the rescuers finally found him a month later, the dog was still there by his owner’s side…”

The replies to the post ranged from those posted by haters of Tim Allen who went back to 1978 to drudge up his arrest and jail time to those who turned Allen’s alleged comments about an animal’s capacity for love into political banter between those who voted for Donald Trump and those who voted for Joe Biden.

One user named Zak posted on X, formerly Twitter, in support of Tim Allen, saying, “People really mad at Tim Allen, ‘But he hates animals,’ ‘but he sold cocaine,’ ‘but he’s a maga cult trumper.’ Boo hoo, don’t drown in the river you’ve made from your tears! Dude’s got it made. If it comes down to it, I’d pick Trump over the pedo family any day. Stay mad.”

tim allen home improvement

Credit: Disney/ABC/Canva

Whether Allen made the comment or not remains to be verified, but the fact that cannot be denied is that it takes very little for social media self-proclaimed pundits to become irritated, riled, and ultimately, downright villainous toward others–especially when it happens to be a public figure or celebrity with varying ideals and convictions.

For now, Allen continues in his role as Santa Claus on Disney+, and earlier this month, he even discussed the prospect of a Home Improvement reboot–something Tim Allen fans can get behind in solidarity. (And this writer doesn’t mind leading the pack.)

This post is originally appeared on Disney Dining.

About Rebekah Tyndall Burkett

Rebekah grew up in Forney, Texas and lives just outside of Dallas. She’s been a Disney superfan since childhood, experiencing the magic at Walt Disney World for the first time at the age of 11. Journeys to Neverland are at least a yearly occurrence for her, her husband and her four children (the Fab Four). When they go to the parks, they stay in Florida for three weeks at a time. Rebekah loves exploring the history of the parks, the genius behind the Magic in the person of Walt Disney, and she is intrigued by all things Disney World and Disney Imagineering. When in the parks, Rebekah and her husband Scott make the most of their time by enjoying every minute with their Fab Four, by delving deeper into Walt’s vision for the parks and into the history behind the Walt Disney World Resort, and by photographing the many different types of architecture at Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and on the World Showcase at EPCOT. When she’s not in the parks, Rebekah is excitedly setting travel dates and planning her family’s next adventure to their happy place deep within the Sunshine State. On breaks from planning her next trip, Rebekah is a writer, journalist and children’s author, penning children’s books about kids with special needs that she affectionately calls “believement-achievement” stories. Her hobbies include creative writing, paper crafting and interviewing Imagineers. She is also an advocate for Autism Awareness and for children with developmental disabilities of all kinds.

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