Walmart Removes Racist Term Used in Third-Party Product Description

Jennifer Gerson Uffalussy
Contributing Writer

The color of a wig cap being sold on Walmart.com was described using a racist term — and quickly, the hate-speech product description went viral. 

Photo: Walmart

The language in the product being listed and sold by a third-party vendor through Walmart.com has since been removed, but the original copy nonetheless quickly made the rounds on social media, with many calling out the Arkansas-based retailer for allowing the use of such an offensive term on its site.

Photo: @KwaniALunis/Twitter

Social media was quick to react, with influencers including Questlove, Roxane Gay, Charles Blow, and others sounding off.

Interestingly, as Travon Free pointed out, the same product is listed on Amazon without the hateful jargon.

 


This isn’t the first time Walmart has come under fire for allowing objectionable material from vendors on its website. In October 2016, the retailer faced criticism when an outside retailer sold a Halloween costume of suicide-attempt scars in the store’s marketplace.


In December 2016, Walmart again found itself in the headlines when a third-party seller offered a mug reading “Got Retard?” on the site. A mug saying “Got Hitler?” was also complained about and removed.

And again, Walmart apologized and removed the distasteful items.


A spokesperson for Walmart tells Yahoo Beauty, “We are very sorry and appalled that this third-party seller listed their item with this description on our online marketplace. It is a clear violation of our policy, and has been removed, and we are investigating the seller to determine how this could have happened.”

According to Walmart.com, the company explicitly prohibits third-party retailers from selling “offensive” products through its marketplace, including products that display “vulgar language” and “products that either portray, glorify or promote in an insensitive way animal cruelty; any historical or news events; criminal or illegal activity; derogatory stereotyping based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or nationality; hatred; intolerance; natural or man-made disaster(s); tragedy; violence.”

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