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Walmart Removes Mugs That Say 'Got Retard' From Its Website

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Parents of kids with disabilities aren’t happy with Walmart after a mug, which reads “Got Retard” was spotted on the large retailer’s website. The mug (which can be seen below in a screenshot shared on Facebook early Monday) had been added to Walmart’s marketplace – an area of the site where third-party vendors can sell products – by JM Holdings LLC, and was quickly removed within hours of being reported to Walmart.

Mug screenshot

Disability advocates and parents quickly took to social media to criticize Walmart’s marketplace for featuring the mugs.

“This item was offered through a Marketplace seller,” a spokesperson for Walmart told The Mighty. “It clearly violated our prohibited items policy and once it was brought to our attention, we quickly removed it from the Marketplace. We think it’s unacceptable a seller put it on the site in the first place.”

The Mighty reached out to JM Holdings, the third-party vendor selling the mugs, and has yet to hear back. However, according to a message shared on Facebook, Jack Mosca, chief executive of JM Holdings, replied to a petitioner, with “Our designs are generated using lists of words taken directly from the dictionary. We try our best to remove anything that may be insensitive or offensive but some words do slip through the cracks. We will be removing this listing from our inventory as soon as possible.”

This isn’t the first time a Walmart marketplace item has been flagged as offensive. In October, the online retailer removed a third-party vendor’s “Razor Blade Suicide Scar Wound Latex Costume Make Up,” which mimicked self-harm scars, from its website.

Policing items sold by third-party vendors is a problem for large retailers who operate an online marketplace like Walmart and Amazon. Oftentimes, quality control is left to parents and organizations, who spot offensive items online, and then petition the retailers to remove them.

Do you think online retailers should be responsible for offensive items sold on their websites? Let us know in the comments below. 

Originally published: December 13, 2016
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