This Badass Mall Santa With 'Naughty' & 'Nice' Tattoos Just Sparked a Major Debate

Allicia Leaper Crush photography

With Christmas creeping closer and closer, moms and dads are slowly gathering strength for a true test of the Christmas spirit: getting their kids to take a picture with Santa. The parents in one Pennsylvania community are lucky enough to have a go-to Santa who puts children at ease year after year. But their beloved Santa also rocks tattoos and handles his job with a nontraditional approach. He was recently asked to "tone it down" by store management, and now people are PISSED.

  • Scott Diethorne isn't just a good Santa -- he's a beloved local legend in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

    In devotion to his craft, the "Santa" sports tattooed arms that read "naughty" and "nice," and he's known for always being willing to come up with inventive poses for photos with the kids who visit him. Diethorne's daughter Megan Greene tells, "I think he truly believes he is Santa."

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  • But this year, his fans were in for an unpleasant surprise: Diethorne's management forbade him from flashing his tats and picking up kids.

    Cherry Hill Programs -- which runs the Santa experience at the Oxford Valley Mall, where Diethorne works -- told, "During this special time of year, we are focused on delivering a magical holiday experience. We remain dedicated to preserving the tradition and image of Santa with authentic holiday visits for every guest to our programs."

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  • Little did they know, their customers would miss their Santa's "wild" ways and end up furious.

    Diethorne has declined to comment to any news outlets, due to his Santa contract, but his fans are unafraid to be vocal. People quickly took to the Internet to protest against the mall's misguided decision.

  • Amanda Nagy, who created a petition on Facebook, wrote, "Santa Scott needs to be able to do what the public wants."

    "If you guys know him, you know this is all of the stuff he is known for -- bring our Santa back!!"

  • The post, which has been shared over 400 times, has other mall goers writing in that Santa Scott needs to be saved.

  • "Even my 20-year-old goes to get pics because they show off their new ink to each other," one mom says.

  • "He is the very best, why would you want to mess with the best Santa in our area!" another Facebook user wonders.

  • The love for Scott is really, really real.

  • However, one person pointed out that perhaps the mall's change in policy was an effort to protect itself against liability.

    "God forbid something happened to a child and a disgruntled parent came after either [Scott or the] company," she writes, adding, "It's a huge liability that can coast a company and a man's lively hood."

  • Though he still works at the mall, Scott is reportedly continuing his nontraditional "Santa work" outside of the mall perimeters, with the help of photographer Allicia Leaper Crush.

    His daughter tells, "He wants to make everyone happy. I feel like his happiest time of the year is Christmas."

    She adds that her father wants to keep going as Santa "'til the day he can no longer move. He wants to be buried in his Santa suit." Now that's some devotion to his craft we can appreciate. 

    You can see more of Allicia Leaper Crush's work here