Offensive T-shirt which threatened journalists pulled from Walmart
Walmart said the top “clearly violates our policy”.
An offensive T-shirt which threatened journalists has been removed by Walmart after an outcry.
The US retailer had originally been selling the item with the slogan “Rope. Tree. Journalist. Some Assembly Required” via its website.
Walmart, which owns the UK supermarket Asda, removed the top after a complaint by a journalism advocacy group.
Shortly after our Voice of the #FirstAmendment Task Force sent a letter to the company’s top executives, @Walmart removed this violent shirt from its website. https://t.co/finmC8nBgX pic.twitter.com/bKO7gxGnsw— RTDNA (@RTDNA) November 30, 2017
“This item was sold by a third-party seller on our marketplace and clearly violates our policy,” Walmart said. “We removed it as soon as it was brought to our attention, and are conducting a thorough review of the seller’s assortment.”
The Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) said Walmart notified it about five hours after its complaint that the garment was being removed.
Free speech 👍🏼— RTDNA (@RTDNA) November 30, 2017
Advocating violence against journalists 👎🏼
Our Voice of the First Amendment Task Force is here to protect journalists. Join RTDNA to join the fight. https://t.co/oj4EqXdoki https://t.co/95huNZ9xw9
“We are grateful for Walmart’s swift action, but dismayed that it, and anyone else selling the shirt, would offer such an offensive and inflammatory product,” RTDNA executive director Dan Shelley said.
“We live in an environment in which political and ideological discourse has deteriorated to the level where some find it appropriate to advocate violence targeting journalists merely for performing their constitutionally guaranteed duty to seek and report the truth.”
The top was also available via the third party’s own website, Teespring. While the RTDNA said it too had pulled the T-shirt, it was still available in the UK at 2pm on December 1.
Shelley added: “We recognise that under the First Amendment, companies have a right to sell, and consumers have a right to purchase, these shirts. But that doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do, especially in today’s vitriolic climate.”