Trump supporters are calling for a Walmart boycott in response to apparel backing the president’s impeachment. Products include baby clothes printed with “Impeach 45” — one Twitter user spotted 13 products with the slogan.
This morning, a Walmart employee even tweeted how proud he was to work for the company, attaching a screenshot of an Impeach 45 onesie.
This clothing has since been taken down.
Ryan Fournier, chairman of the Students for Trump coalition, was reportedly one of the first to call out the company, which lead to cries for a Walmart boycott.
Calls for a Walmart boycott
Many Trump supporters posted about a Walmart boycott on Twitter.
“Looks like I’ll be shopping elsewhere from now on since you find it tasteful to sell Impeach 45 clothing in your stores! Goodbye!” one man tweeted.
— Mark Lonsinger (@MSLdraco) July 3, 2018
“I AM UPSET & ANGRY! … This offends me & many others,” one woman wrote of the Walmart boycott. “As a huge PRO American company, It is WRONG to politicize & be anti-US President with any product. Clean up your act #WALMART!!”
Those against the Walmart boycott called the idea hypocritical — the company reportedly sold items that promoted Obama’s impeachment in the past. Additionally, Amazon currently sells shirts that say “Impeach Obama.” (And, similar Impeach 45 apparel is also sold on Amazon.)
Is Walmart responsible?
The impeach Trump shirts were sold through Walmart by third-party seller Old Glory.
Walmart was not available for immediate comment; however, a spokesperson confirmed to Fox News, “These items were sold by third party sellers on our open marketplace, and were not offered directly by Walmart. We’re removing these types of items pending review of our marketplace policies.”
“We carry over 10,000 politically inspired T-shirts dealing with all aspects of politics, from liberal to conservative thought,” Glenn Morelli, president of Old Glory, said in a statement to Bloomberg. “We are an American company and we are proud to be American, and this is what we do: We sell T-shirts for a living.”
Old Glory also took to Twitter in response to the calls for a Walmart boycott:
ALL of our Trump shirts (supportive and satirical) are available on our site. One of the great things about being an American is the Freedom of Peaceful Expression (the free speech part of the Constitution). We fully support every citizen’s Constitutional rights, hence our name. pic.twitter.com/GrXvwBpMgB
— Old Glory (@OldGloryTees) July 3, 2018
What’s the deal with third-party sellers on Walmart?
Walmart’s partnership with third-party or “Marketplace Sellers,” lets the company “bring you millions more products, along with more brands and more selection.” Walmart claims to be looking for brands that provide, “First-class customer service, unique product assortment, competitive pricing and fast and reliable fulfillment.”
But, a Walmart Marketplace Retailer Agreement states that Walmart “may remove your listings in its sole discretion in response to notices of alleged copyright infringement, trademark misappropriation, or other intellectual property claims.” There are also restrictions on products based on quality or brand.
Under its list of restricted products, there’s a section on “offensive” material. Though there appear to be no rules regarding political views, promoting “hatred” is specified in this section.
Last fall, Walmart took down a third-party T-shirt that read, “Rope. Tree. Journalist. SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED,” due to similar outcry. At the time, Walmart said the apparel “clearly violates our policy.”
The Radio Television and Digital News Association (RTDNA) wrote in a letter to the company: “As a fierce proponent of the First Amendment that is politically nonpartisan, we recognize Walmart’s right to sell the T-Shirts, and the right of consumers to purchase and wear them. However, just because Walmart has the right to sell the shirts, that doesn’t mean it is the right thing to do.”