Kanye West slammed Walmart after the store banned his latest album because of its seriously sexual cover.And if you get banned by this mega-chain, you’re going to be missing out on some serious sales. It’s enough to kill some companies completely. After all, the company is so big it employs 1% of America.
So which brands have been blacklisted by the ultra-conservative Walmart? From Pregnant Barbie to Megan Fox, check out the brands that have been given the axe.
'Banned in the USA!!! They don't want me chilling on the couch with my phoenix!' tweeted an incensed Kanye West Sunday afternoon.
Yes, the album cover for Kanye West's hotly anticipated album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, depicting a werewolf-like Kanye being straddled by a nude, monster-faced female phoenix, was deemed indecent by Walmart recently.
Kanye wasn't done giving the retail giant a piece of his mind, tweeting 'In the 70s album covers had actual nudity... It's so funny that people forget that... Everything has been so commercialized now,' before finally giving the retailer the proverbial middle finger: 'In all honesty ... I really don't be thinking about Walmart when I make my music or album covers #Kanyeshrug!'
Midge Hadley, a comparatively less glamorous friend-of-Barbie doll, was originally created in 1963 by Mattel to counteract claims that Barbie was a sex symbol.
In 2002, Midge was reintroduced as part of a 'Happy Family' line--a married doll family consisting of husband Alan, along with kids Ryan and Nikki. However, the Midge doll was sold pregnant with Nikki--popping out a curled up Nikki when her belly is opened--and packaged without Alan, leading to complaints from Walmart's conservative clientele that it promoted teen pregnancy and sex.
The doll was eventually pulled from all Walmart stores. 'There's enough teenagers getting pregnant as it is. I think they're glamorizing it, and it's horrible,' Jackie Ellis, 43, told USA Today. 'I work in maternity and I see 10-, 11-, 12-year-olds coming in pregnant--and they're crying because they don't even know what's going on.'
Walmart shoppers aren't always the most open-minded of people, but when Jon Stewart and his fellow Daily Show writers released this bestselling nonfiction tome that shrewdly satirized American politics, this sad fact reared its ugly head.
Walmart stores canceled an order of the book in October 2004 because, on page 99, there's a section that contains clearly doctored photographs with the heads of then-current Supreme Court justices superimposed on shriveled, age-appropriate naked bodies, urging readers to 'restore their dignity by matching each justice with his or her respective robe.'
Though the book continued to be sold online, Walmart spokeswoman Karen Burk told USA Today that 'We felt a majority of our customers would not be comfortable with the image' of the naked justices. 'We were hoping to be banned by a lot of mum-and-pop bookstores, but they keep selling the book,' countered Daily Show executive producer Ben Karlin.
Yes, rumour has it the Transformers star has been banned from her hometown Walmart store, and no, it's not for being too sexy.
The National Enquirer claims that Fox got busted for lifting a $7 tube of lip gloss from her local Florida branch during her rebellious teen years, earning her a lifetime ban from the store.
'At first, Megan denied it,' an unnamed friend of the actress told the tabloid. 'Even after they told her they caught her on surveillance video, Megan still tried talking her way out of it. But when they threatened to call the police, Megan broke down in tears and confessed.' Fox's spokesperson has refused to confirm or deny the claim.
In one of the more overt displays of its conservative mind-set, Walmart ruled that it wouldn't carry the 'morning-after' pill Preven at any of its pharmacies in 1999.
The company didn't give any reason why they wouldn't carry the drug other than calling the ban a 'business decision,' according to CBS News. The New York Times later reported that the anti-abortion group Pharmacists for Life International had asked Wal-Mart to ban the drug.
However, the retail was forced to reverse their decision in 2006 and carry the Plan B morning-after pill following a lawsuit filed by three Massachusetts women against the company, reported CBS News.
Sex sells, just not at Walmart. In 2003, Walmart decided to stop selling men's magazines Maxim, Stuff, and FHM.
Even though Walmart had been carrying Maxim for over three years prior to the ban, The New York Times reported that the company came under increased pressure from Christian groups to ban the magazines from its stores. The company made the decision after 'listening to our customers and associates,' a Walmart spokesman told The New York Times, adding, 'I know we've heard on at least one of those magazines, they weren't pleased with the offering.'
Later that year, the retailer chose to partly obscure the covers of Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, and Redbook on store shelves due to 'customer concerns,' reported The Guardian.
To answer your first question: No, it wasn't because of her one-square-of-toilet-paper-per-bathroom-visit comments.
Rather, when the singer-songwriter released her self-titled debut album back in September 1996, the store objected to some of the lyrics on the album's track 'Love Is a Good Thing.' The lyrics went: 'Watch out sister/Watch out brother/Watch our children as they kill each other/with a gun they bought at the Walmart discount stores.'
Crow remained steadfast and, backed by her record label A&M Records, refused to change the lyrics, according to PBS NewsHour. Walmart responded by refusing to carry the record.
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