Retail giant Wal-Mart has issued an apology for a racist product description that appeared on its website.
In what was later revealed to be intended as a joke, an imposter posing as a representative of a real company called Jagazi UK, Ltd., used the N-word in listing a product on the Wal-Mart website, according to the New York Post.
The product in question is a wig cap, which is used as a protective layer between a person’s hair and sewn-in hair extensions. The description identified one of the available color options as “N****r Brown.”
The description containing the slur quickly attracted attention on social media. Best-selling author Roxane Gay called it “so far past unacceptable.”
Jagazi issued a statement in response to the incident on its website:
We woke up this morning to the news that someone has used our name JAGAZI to list an item. 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!
Jagazi owner Chizo Onuh added his own thoughts on the matter in a statement quoted by KCPQ: “It just doesn’t make any sense. No one will buy the product when you put that offensive name on it.”
Wal-Mart spokeswoman Danit Marquardt also issued a statement regarding the incident.
“We are very sorry and appalled that this third party seller listed their item with this description on our online marketplace,” Marquardt said in the statement. “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.”
Robert Littal of Black Sports Online did not accept Wal-Mart’s apology, accusing the company of a cover-up.
Instead of just admitting they really messed up, Walmart has immediately tried to cover up this horrific racist description of their hair cap product. Before they tried to cover things up, I verified that the description was legit. Even after they tried to cover it up by just putting “Brown” and erasing the description they left live the URL that had “N***** Brown” in it. I happened to screen capture that before they had a chance to change it. Not sure the protocols Walmart uses before they put something live online, but someone obviously knew what they were doing when they did this.