A T-shirt with an “All Lives Counts” slogan on the Walmart Canada website appears to have been removed after this week’s backlash. Twitter exploded in criticism of the company on Tuesday after users tweeted links to a list of a shirt that posted the phrase. It was sold through a third-party seller on the Walmart website and was one of many products with the slogan “All Lives Matter”.
The slogan was widely criticized for its racist implications, because it was not popularized until after the “Black Lives Matter” movement began.
On Thursday, the list was no longer active and the link only led to the first page of Walmart Canada.
Additionally, searching for the phrase “all lives count” in the website search bar now redirects users to a search for “Black Lives Matter”.
CTVNews.ca contacted Walmart Canada for comments.
A Walmart Canada spokesperson on Tuesday told CTVNews.ca via email that the company is investigating the product, which has been sold by a third party on the company’s online platform.
“At Walmart Canada, we are opposed to any form of racism or discrimination,” the spokesperson said on Tuesday. “We encourage listening, seeking to understand and embrace individual differences. ”
The consumer watchdog group SumOfUs, which is made up of people around the world who aim to hold companies accountable, believes their efforts to flood the business with complaints ultimately led to the product’s withdrawal.
Angus Wong, the group’s campaign manager, told CTVNews.ca via email that after reading the original CTV story on the shirts on Wednesday, they contacted their Canadian members.
“Within hours, we emailed 170,000 SumOfUs members across Canada,” he said. “We asked our members to send emails, call, tweet and write to Walmart’s Facebook wall asking them to remove the All Lives Matter merchandise. ”
He said more than 5,000 of their members had directly emailed the Walmart business center.
“This morning when I woke up, the All Lives Matter t-shirts were gone,” he said. “We believe that the thousands of messages from SumOfUs members have contributed to the removal of products by Walmart.”
Wong said that “All Lives Matter” has become a code and a whistle for those who oppose calls for racial justice and an end to police violence.
“Walmart, like many big brands, released a statement saying,” Without a doubt, Black Lives Matter. But selling and profiting from the sale of anti-Black Lives Matter products is total hypocrisy, so we had to talk. ”
The Walmart Canada spokesperson said on Tuesday that he was aware of many products that were variations on the theme “life matters”.
As of Thursday afternoon, searches for phrases such as “Blue Lives Matter” and “Police Lives Matter” still appear products bearing these slogans, although products bearing “Black Lives Matter” have been moved to the top of the results. of research.
Walmart Canada withdrew registrations from third-party sellers due to backlash before, including last December, when an shirt that appeared to show Santa Claus was cocaine-causing an uproar.