Wal-Mart apologises over racial slur in product caption

18 Jul 2017


Wal-Mart Stores Inc yesterday apologised over an ''appalling'' caption for a product of a retailer featured on its virtual shelves.

A third-party vendor on walmart.com, the retailer's marketplace, used a racial slur to describe the colour of a product, a protective cap designed for wearing a layer in between a person's real hair and sewn-in hair extensions. A Twitter user had brought it to public notice.

''We are very sorry and appalled that this third-party seller listed their item with this description on our online marketplace,'' a Wal-Mart spokeswoman said. ''It's a clear violation of our policy. The product has been removed and we're investigating the seller to determine how this could have happened.''

In a swift move, the world's largest retailer sought to defuse the situation and replaced the ''Add to Cart'' button with a sold-out notice and disclaimer beneath the product that said, ''While we aim to provide accurate product information, it is provided by manufacturers, suppliers and others, and has not been verified by us.''

This was not the first instance of its kind when Wal-Mart was obliged to pull off a controversial product from its virtual shelves. A coffee mug that said ''Got Retard?'', a Christmas 2016 offering was ''outed'' on Twitter by angry parents of children with disabilities.

Also in December, a Black Lives Matter T-shirt with ''Bulletproof'' emblazoned across the chest, was removed at the request of the Fraternal Order of Police.

The offending caption had described the colour of the product for sale as n---r brown.

The wig cap in question was offered by a company called Jagazi Natural for $7.28.

Meanwhile, Jagazi Naturals, based in the UK, published a statement on its website that indicated the wig cap was not a product sold by its company.

"We woke up this morning to the news that someone has used our name Jagazi to list an item," the statement read. "Please beware that we are reporting this to as many people as we can and trying to get all the listings pulled down. The real Jagazi is a 100% black company for black people. People have often used our brand name to try and sell their fake products. Please be aware. Very sorry for all the distress this has caused. We are feeling the pain here as well. Most shocking!"

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