But it's downright impossible not to see a broader commentary, given the context in which Rudolph was made. The summer of 1964 saw the U.S. government pass the Civil Rights Act, ending segregation and banning "employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin." According to the book Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer: An American Hero, "Rudolph displayed the same generational disruptions that defined the counterculture during that era." It adds that "part of the appeal was the show's willingness to mirror changes in the American family" -- meaning these themes weren't incidental, but were why the special was so damn successful. Producer Arthur Rankin Jr. points out that the reason the show has resonated for so long is that the issues of bullying and rejection are universal among children: "I think all kids are looking for guidance. I think all kids feel slightly inferior."
So both sides of this argument are misguided. Yes, Rudolph does contain scenes wherein the denizens of the North Pole act like bigoted D-bags, but that doesn't make it problematic. And to deny that any of these elements are present in Rudolph is straight up missing the entire point. It'd be like reading A Christmas Carol as a fun little story about spooky ghosts, or watching It's A Wonderful Life and thinking that the moral is "Don't hire your useless relatives."