American supermarket giant Walmart has been forced to remove a Halloween costume accessory from its website after it sparked outrage and controversy online.
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The franchise had been selling ‘razor blade suicide scar wound latex costume make-up’ on its site for $3.99, which depicted two cuts and a razor blade in the person’s hand.
Middle-class mothers were so pissed off about it that they decided to fight back the only way they knew how – with a petition on Change.org. The petition read:
This is not just a disgrace to the sensitivity to those who suffer from self-harm, but a shame on Walmart for making light of the situation.
This ‘costume’ is real life for many people, many people who are contemplating volumes higher than self-harm. Suicide is not a joke, not a costume, and not funny.
Who said it was supposed to be a joke? I for one take my Freddy Krueger costume incredibly seriously when I don it each year. Still, the angry mums would not cease until this outfit was off the shelves:
suicide isn't a costume. stop glamorizing mental illness and self-harm. it is far from it.
— beanette (@kittyjnicks) October 23, 2016
Hey @Walmart what's the deal? Think it's funny to joke about self harming? How dare you. pic.twitter.com/0gcaNH1j05
— Jessica Shaw (@JessiBooShaw) October 25, 2016
Walmart being the crowd-pleasing conglomerate that it is was swift to remove the accessory from its range, and even tried to deflect the guilt a little bit:
The costume is appalling and it was unacceptable for a third-party seller to list it on our marketplace. It clearly violated our prohibited items policy and we removed it yesterday morning when it was brought to our attention.
I realise I might sound a little scathing towards everyone involved in this incident. It’s not that I think it’s cool to dress up as a suicide victim or make light of depression. It’s just that the kind of people who shop in Walmart, and Walmart themselves, are also the kind of people who would most likely condone a costume like this, while voting for Trump. It just seems like they’ve got their priorities a little skewed is all.