By now, it’s become a time-honored tradition for stores and online retailers to make problematic clothing pieces, only to be called out and have to publicly apologize. It happened to H&M when they put a black boy in a sweatshirt that said “coolest monkey in the jungle.” Nike got in trouble for releasing a “Boston Massacre” shirt the same year as the Boston Marathon bombing. And American Eagle had to backtrack after people pointed out that one of their bracelets looked a little too much like shackles used to hold slaves. So many f*ckups, so little time.
Today, it’s Walmart’s turn in the hot seat. The retail giant issued an apology for a holiday sweater that was sold through the Canadian version of their Marketplace, where third-party vendors can sell their products. The sweater says “Let it Snow,” and features a snowman in front of a table that clearly features lines of… a substance. And in case there was any doubt about what was depicted, here’s the description that went along with the sweater: “We all know how snow works. It’s white, powdery and the best snow comes straight from South America. That’s bad news for jolly old St. Nick, who lives far away in the North Pole. That’s why Santa really likes to savor the moment when he gets his hands on some quality, grade A, Colombian snow.” LMAO.
Honestly, I think the sweater is kinda funny, and it’s not nearly as offensive as some of the other things retailers have sold. But it’s not exactly on-brand for Walmart’s family image, and and it’s obviously it’s not a great look for them to let third-party sellers put things like this on their site. The Walmart Marketplace, which is similar to Amazon, has clearly come with its difficulties. This isn’t the first time that Walmart has issued an apology for a product that made its way onto their site. Two years ago, they got in trouble for a hat on their site, the color of which was named after a racial slur. Yikes yikes yikes.
The holiday shopping season is just picking up, and companies with marketplaces like this should probably be on high alert for problematic items, because people suck. Just last week, Amazon got dragged for selling Christmas ornaments and a bottle opener that featured images of Auschwitz. Like, the concentration camp. I don’t know who even thought to make these products in the first place, but obviously Amazon needs to have some more strict guidelines in place.
Selling "Christmas ornaments" with images of Auschwitz does not seem appropriate. Auschwitz on a bottle opener is rather disturbing and disrespectful. We ask @amazon to remove the items of those suppliers. https://t.co/0uG2JG558e pic.twitter.com/ucZoTWPk1W
— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) December 1, 2019
While most of the products on Walmart’s site aren’t problematic like these, there are definitely some questionable offerings. I went straight to the men’s graphic tee section of the website, and I was not disappointed. I mean, I was disappointed that people still wear this sh*t, but at least I found plenty of stuff to roast.
For exhibit A, let’s look at this take on the classic American flag tee. But rather than just a classic ~America~ vibe, whoever made this decided to sh*t on Colin Kaepernick and everyone else who has kneeled for the national anthem. Honestly, this shirt basically just means “All Lives Matter,” but with a fun disguise that you really just care about the fallen troops. We probably all have an uncle who would wear this.
Aside from the icky alt-right vibes, there are also a LOT of shirts dedicated to being obsessed with video games. I kind of thought we had outgrown this as a society, but apparently all the dudes who still love video games have just been hiding in their parents’ basements, so I didn’t realize they still existed. Maybe you can buy this shirt for your older brother who doesn’t have much direction in his life.
But my absolute (least) favorite shirt on the Walmart Marketplace has to be this one, dedicated to telling your dad that he’s a superhero to you. Cute sentiment, but the shirt is going to give me f*cking nightmares. Honestly, the word “daddy” has kind of been ruined at this point, so it’s hard for me to look at this and not just think about a hookup horror story. But hey, if you’re still looking for a Christmas present for your dad, go off sis.
The real crime with this shirt is all the competing fonts and the redundant clip-art.
What did you think of the cocaine sweater? I didn’t hate it, but it definitely seems like companies like Walmart and Target need to be a little (or a lot) more careful about the restrictions on their third-party sellers. But like, does anyone know where I can still buy the sweater?
Images: Shutterstock; Walmart (4); AuschwitzMuseum / Twitter