Walmart is taking some heat for using the N-word to describe a product on its website, forcing the retail giant to apologize and remove the product.
The flap went viral over the weekend when shoppers noticed that a weave skull cap was listed as the color “N***er Brown.” Pictures of the description spread across social media and on Monday prompted an apology from Walmart.
As the New York Post noted, Walmart passed the blame to a third party seller that had actually written the description which ended up on its website. By early Monday afternoon, the reference to the N-word had disappeared, and a note informed shoppers that the product was on longer available.
“While we aim to provide accurate product information, it is provided by manufacturers, suppliers and others, and has not been verified by us,” a disclaimer read.
The apology and removal of the product did little to stem the outrage against Walmart for using the N-word in its product description. Author Roxane Gay said that the use of the word was “so far past unacceptable.”
“We are very sorry and appalled that this third party seller listed their item with this description on our online marketplace,” the retailer tweeted in response. “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.”
This is not the first time in recent weeks that a company’s use of the N-word has led to criticism. Back in January, a story published on Yahoo contained the racial slur in a headline in an apparent typo.
A story on Yahoo Finance wrote about Donald Trump’s desire to grow the U.S. Navy, but used the N-word by accident.
“Trump wants a much n***er navy: Here’s how much it’ll cost,” the headline read.
Yahoo retracted the headline and issued an apology, but by then the headline had gone viral. While Walmart’s use of the racial slur in a product description has drawn outrage, Yahoo’s typo had a much different reaction. Many turned the use of “N***er Navy” into something of a joke, and the term was even trending on Twitter.
Walmart’s use of the N-word in its product description continues to draw outrage, with many calling out the retailer on social media despite the quickly issued apology. Others have criticized Walmart for passing the buck onto the third-party seller rather than taking total responsibility for what ended up on its website.
[Featured Image by Scott Olson/Getty Images]