Walmart Apologizes for Snowman Christmas Sweater That References Cocaine Use
The removed item featured an image of Santa Claus at a table with three lines of white powder that appear to be cocaine.
Walmart has issued an apology for selling a Christmas sweater that featured a clear drug reference as the design.
The sweater, which was available for purchase on Walmart’s website, included an image of an excited Santa Claus sitting at a table with three white lines that are heavily implied to be cocaine. The sweater also had the phrase “Let It Snow” under the controversial image.
The sweater’s description on the website 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.”
After the sweater was mocked and criticized on social media, Walmart issued an apology to Canadian news organization The Global News.
“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 statement said. “We have removed these products from our marketplace. We apologize for any unintended offence this may have caused.”
The sweater, which was made by clothing company FUN Wear, is no longer available on Walmart’s website.
Social media users poked fun at the product and Walmart’s mishap on Twitter. One user tweeted, “Who thought this was a good idea, @Walmart?”
Another said, “WTF….. Someone needs to get fired.”
Earlier this month, Amazon also had to take down several holiday-themed listings from its website after receiving backlash for images of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp printed on Christmas ornaments and bottle openers.
The Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum criticized Amazon and the products, calling them “disturbing and disrespectful.”
“Selling ‘Christmas ornaments’ with images of Auschwitz does not seem appropriate,” the Polish museum wrote on Twitter. “Auschwitz on a bottle opener is rather disturbing and disrespectful. We ask @amazon to remove the items of those suppliers.”
The items were sold by a third-party seller listed as “Fcheng,” and bore images of the train tracks leading up to the concentration camp, as well as pictures from within the camp.
The museum later found other items showing the death camp, including a mouse pad and another ornament — both sold by two other sellers.
In a statement to PEOPLE, a spokesperson for Amazon confirmed the products were removed.
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“All sellers must follow our selling guidelines and those who do not will be subject to action, including potential removal of their account,” the spokesperson told PEOPLE. “The products in question have been removed.”