Walmart apologizes for Christmas sweater with cocaine reference

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MISSISSAUGA, Ontario (TRIBUNE MEDIA WIRE) — Walmart is saying sorry for making available a Christmas sweater with an apparent drug reference.

The sweater featured an image of Santa Claus behind a table with three white lines that look similar to cocaine lines. Below the image is the phrase “Let it snow.” The Global News, a Canadian news organization, first reported the apology.

“These sweaters, sold by a third-party seller on Walmart.ca, do not represent Walmart’s values and have no place on our website,” Walmart said in a statement on Saturday. “We have removed these products from our marketplace. We apologize for any unintended offense this may have caused.”

The sweater did not appear to be available as of Sunday night. Walmart declined to comment further on Sunday.

Third-party sellers are able to make products available on Walmart Marketplace — a portal on which Walmart can approve sellers to use its website.

Walmart has faced similar issues before. In 2017, the company apologized for an offensive slur used by a third-party seller in a product listing on its website.

And it’s not the first time this holiday season that a third-party seller has brought scrutiny to a major online retailer.

Earlier in December, Amazon pulled Christmas ornaments showing the Auschwitz concentration camp. Images used showed the train tracks leading to the entrance of Auschwitz II-Birkenau and a number of scenes inside the camps, where around 1 million Jewish people are estimated to have been killed during World War II. Amazon removed the products when the Auschwitz Memorial tweeted about them.

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