Walmart has removed an item from its website and issued an apology on Monday after the product description was found to contain the N-word.
The merchandise, a weaving net used for hair extensions retailed under the brand Jagazi Naturals, was being sold by a third party on Walmart.com for $7.28.
The title of the item read, in part: ‘Durable Stretchy Weaving Net Weaving Cap Wig Cap Size M (N*****-brown).’
The offensive term was also repeated in the description section beneath a photo showing a mannequin with the brown, lacy cap on its head.
Online user Kwani Lunis came upon the racial slur online and alerted Walmart, tweeting: ‘Hey @Walmart what are you doing.’
Comedian Travon Free, who is African-American and works as a staff writer on TBS’ Full Frontal with Samanta Bee, weighed in on the controversy, quipping in a tweet that he and Walmart should ‘have a chat.’
By Monday, as outrage over the slur spread on social media, the weave cap had been removed and the big-box retailer apologized on its Tweeter account, writing: ‘We agree, this is appalling.’
The company also issued a statement laying the blame on the third-party retailer.
Writer and commentator Roxane Gay also weighed in on the controversy on Twitter
So sorry: Walmart later removed the item from its website and issued an apology
‘We are very sorry and appalled that third party seller listed their item with this description on our online marketplace. It is a clear violation of our policy and has been removed, and we are investigating the seller to determine how this could have happened.’
By late afternoon, the weaving net was still available for purchase in black on Walmart’s website.
Meanwhile, Jagazi Naturals, a company based out of London and run by CEO Chizo Onuh, who is originally from Nigeria, posted a statement on its website addressing the flap over the wig cap and claiming that someone had hijacked their brand to hawk a fake version of their weave net.
‘We woke up this morning to the news that someone has used our name JAGAZI to list an item,’ the message read. ‘Please beware that we are reporting this to as many people as we can and trying to get all the listings pulled down.
‘The real JAGAZI is a 100% black company for black people. People have often used our brand name to try and sell their fake products. Please be aware. Very sorry for all the distress this has caused. We are feeling the pain here as well. Most shocking!’
The weaving net controversy comes just days after Walmart Canada came under fire and was forced to pull from its shelves a ‘racist’ onesie decorated with teepees that joked about children living at home despite the country’s history of taking indigenous kids away from their families.
Last week, Walmart Canada was forced to remove this onesie from its shelves after being accused of racism towards indigenous people