Walmart apologizes for ‘bonkers’ Christmas sweater: ‘Explain why this was OK’
Walmart has pulled an "ugly Christmas sweater" from its online store and after many customers pointed out apparent drug references in the outfit's design.
The item, which was sold by a third-party retailer and only available on the Walmart Canada site, depicted a wild-eyed version of Santa Claus sitting behind a table containing multiple lines of "powered" snow.
A photo of the sweater's description, posted to Twitter by a user named Jason John, seemingly implies that the Saint Nicholas figure is snorting cocaine.
"We all know how snow works. It’s white, powdery and the best snow comes straight from South America," the product description read. "That’s bad news for jolly old St. Nick, who lives far away in the North Pole."
Walmart Canada quickly removed the sweater from its site, and apologized for the item on Friday, Canada's Global News reported.
"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 company said in a statement. "We have removed these products from our marketplace. We apologize for any unintended offense this may have caused,” a spokesperson told Global News on Saturday.
Global News also reported on a number of other lewd, third-party sweaters, some of which were not initially removed with the drug-themed Santa design. Those items, which featured images of partially naked Santas and sexually charged images of Mrs. Claus, were reportedly taken down throughout the weekend.
The original sweater, however, sparked a massive response online — with social media users sharing their thoughts on the design long after it was taken down. Some were outraged that Walmart would allow the product in its online store.
"Walmart, explain why was this okay? Ever! Who was the target market?!" one Twitter user wrote.
Still, many others simply found the sweater humorous, taking the opportunity to poke fun at the depiction of Santa.
"This is bonkers," one user wrote.
"I hate SNOW. I would rather be smoking those Christmas Trees," another joked, along with a GiF of Billy Bob Thornton's drug-loving character from the movie "Bad Santa."
Vice reported that Fun Wear, the company credited with creating the illicit sweaters, also removed the item from its own online store. The sweaters were apparently priced between $9.99 and $19.99, but are now listed as either sold out or unavailable.