Watching A Charlie Brown Christmas on TV is a family holiday tradition that for many will be no more.
Fans of the classic “Peanuts” comic-strip are expressing outrage over the fact that the quintessential animated holiday special has moved to the Apple TV+ streaming service instead of airing on network television.
Peanuts specials not airing on a free, over-the-air broadcast network for the first time since the 1965 Christmas special debuted is another milestone moment in TV history.
Charles M. Schulz’s “Peanuts” specials have aired on broadcast television since the 1960s, with ABC owning the rights since about 2000.
The popularity of the beloved characters — such as Snoopy, Charlie Brown and Peppermint Patty — have spanned generations in large part due to the annual specials.
Apple bought the rights in 2018, in an act of pure greed.
While Apple TV+ has every right to do this, they shouldn’t.
Some things are actually sacred in our holiday culture – like Peanuts specials and “Rudolph” and “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
Many fans took to social media and shared their distaste for the move, with some noting that many families do not have access to streaming.
Others felt the move ended a beloved, shared American tradition.
“The point of having them on network TV is the country coming together and watching at the same time. That’s being taken from us,” one Twitter user wrote. “The Peanuts specials are one of the very FEW things that brings US together.”
As the coronavirus pandemic has uprooted daily life, with millions of people across the world working and learning at home, people have noted the digital divide for low-income homes.
Many low-income families have limited access to high-quality internet or laptops for each member of the home.
An Apple TV+ subscription costs $4.99 per month, though many have received free yearlong trials through Apple purchases since the platform launched last year.
The application to play programs on the subscription service typically requires either an Apple device, a smart television, or a streaming device that plugs into televisions, such as a Roku.
“I feel a certain amount of sadness that these seemingly eternal holiday traditions are suddenly not as accessible as they used to be, because they probably won’t air on a major broadcast TV network,” said Emily VanDerWerff of Vox. “It’s just the latest example of the television world creating walled gardens that are, by definition, closed off to those who can’t pay to access them.”