Walmart is removing Cosmopolitan from checkout lines at thousands of stores nationwide, citing the magazine’s “hypersexualized and degrading” content. The retail giant made the decision as part of an effort to support the #MeToo movement protesting sexual harassment and assault.
“This unprecedented effort will impact more than 5,000 stores across our nation,” according to a statement by the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE).
“Walmart is using its platform to take a stand against sexual exploitation, by instituting a broad sweep of all Walmart stores, removing Cosmopolitan Magazine from each and every checkout aisle.”
Customers who want to buy Cosmopolitan magazine can still find it in Walmart’s magazine section, but it will no longer be available at the checkout line because its provocative editorial content and in-your-face sexy photos are inappropriate for children, according to NCOSE.
“Families and individuals will no longer be automatically exposed to Cosmo’s hypersexualized and degrading article titles that regularly promote pornography, sexting, BDSM, group sex, anal sex, and more, all while marketing toward young teens with Disney star cover models.”
Haley Halverson, a vice president at NCOSE, said the decision is a step in the right direction that’s necessary because Cosmopolitan magazine targets young girls with its hypersexualized content. “They really do target young girls,” Halverson told the Daily News.
“We see that with their bubble-gum pink covers, with the Disney stars that are on it, and they’re targeting young girls with messages that are equivalent to the messages about female sexuality that Playboy promotes.”
Cosmopolitan has not yet issued a statement responding to the move. This is not the first time NCOSE has targeted a media outlet. In 2017 and again in February 2018, the organization called for a boycott of the annual Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, saying the magazine objectifies women “for sport and profit.”
“Especially in this #MeToo world, it’s time to start addressing the fact that we can’t treat women as objects in these ways in our popular culture and then expect individuals to treat women with respect in their day-to-day lives,” Halverson said.
Some on social media skewered Walmart, saying it’s “completely misinterpreting” the #MeToo movement.
Only reason why they are being moved is they aren’t selling. WalMart is WalMart. They do what sells which is why they are successful.
— Mark Meadors (@Meadors68) March 27, 2018
Is this a joke?… am I on candid camera?
— THB (@thbrowne) March 27, 2018
Others applauded Walmart’s decision.
Walmart finally doing
— God’s girl (@Godsgirl158) March 27, 2018
Absolutely. There is no reason for this nonsense to be fed to our lil girls. Show some real female role models i.e Aly Raisman, Emma Gonzales
— Ben Mardkha (@BenJamminSir) March 27, 2018