People were outraged after a mug, which reads “got retard?” was seen on sale on Walmart’s website.
The mug had been added to Walmart’s marketplace, a section of its site where third-party vendors can sell products.
The products made by a company called JM Holdings, were, however, quickly removed after the giant retailer received multiple complaints.
A spokesperson for Walmart told The New York Daily News that the mug was offered through a third-party seller and that it violated the company's prohibited items policy.
"Once it was brought to our attention, we quickly removed it from the Marketplace," the spokesperson said. "We think it's unacceptable a seller put it on the site in the first place."
The offensive mugs were available on Amazon as well, but the product has been removed from its website.
Disability advocates and parents voiced their condemnation of Walmart on Twitter:
@Walmart do you find your offensive mug "Got Retard?" to be remotely funny & something you should sell? Shameful. Youve lost a patron.— Ryan Mahaffey (@ryran75) December 12, 2016
A Change.org petition was started by a woman in England, calling on Walmart to cease selling the offensive mugs.
The incident even got the attention of State Sen. Ted Kennedy Jr. who tweeted:
This isn’t the first time a Walmart marketplace item has been flagged as offensive.
In a similar recent incident, Walmart was also selling “got Hitler?” mugs made by the same vendor, but they have since been removed.
In October, the retailer was forced to remove a third-party vendor’s “Razor Blade Suicide Scar Wound Latex Costume Make Up,” which simulated self-harm scars, from its website.
Policing third-party items is a tricky issue for large retailers who operate an online marketplace, such as Walmart and Amazon. Often, it’s the public at large that spots the offending items and notifies the company about it.
You’d think that companies the size of Walmart and Amazon would have a more rigorous vetting process when it comes to third-party vendors.
Perhaps it’s the result of a cynical calculation by these retailers who feel that a few public relations flubs are outweighed by the profits generated from these marketplaces.
Banner/Thumbnail Credit: REUTERS, Daniel Becerril