Walmart removed several pieces of holiday merchandise from its Canadian website after customers took offense to a line of risque Christmas clothing.
The retail giant also issued an apology over a sweater offered by the third-party seller FUN Wear that featured an image of a bug-eyed Santa Claus seated in front of three white lines that appeared to be cocaine. The sweater’s tagline: “LET IT SNOW.”
For those who weren’t quite sure what the sweater might be suggesting, its product description read:
“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.”
“These sweaters, sold by a third-party seller on Walmart.ca, do not represent Walmart’s values and have no place on our website,” the company said in a statement. “We apologize for any unintended offence this may have caused.”
The sweater and several others that have since been removed from the marketplace were sold by a third-party seller, Walmart reiterated in an email to The Washington Post.
The other items depicted the famous Christmas couple in compromising positions, according to Canada’s Global News. On one, a pants-less Santa Claus was seen “roasting his chestnuts” atop a burning fireplace. On another, captioned “Santa has been naughty,” a lingerie-clad Mrs. Claus was depicted holding a whip and preparing to strike her husband’s bare behind.
Walmart has faced similar issues before.
Last year, supporters of President Trump called for a boycott over a T-shirt sold on Walmart’s American marketplace. The shirt bore the words “Impeach 45,” a reference to Trump, the 45th president of the United States.
“We’re removing these types of items pending review of our marketplace policies,” Walmart said in a statement at the time.
In 2017, Walmart apologized for a third-party seller’s online ad, which contained a racist slur. The listing from a British company that sold hair products tailored to black people was for a wig cap in the color “n — brown.”
That year, the company also apologized for a misplaced back-to-school sign that was placed over a firearms display in one of its stores. The banner, which was part of a superhero-themed marketing campaign, read: “Own the school year like a hero.”
Walmart is not the only online retailer to pull a seasonal product that some consumers have found objectionable.
Last week, Amazon halted the sale of Auschwitz-themed holiday decorations, including a Christmas tree ornament and a bottle opener described as a “memorable gift, perfect for every festival.”
The retail giant, whose chief executive, Jeff Bezos, owns The Washington Post, removed the products after an outpouring of condemnation led by the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum in Poland. But even then, The Post reported, other items with Holocaust-related imagery remained on the website, including a Valentine’s Day key chain with an image of Berlin’s Holocaust memorial and a heart inscribed with the message “I love you.”