Walmart apologized Tuesday for releasing a “Juneteenth” themed ice cream after woke backlash from critics on social media.
The retail giant issued a statement Tuesday apologizing for the “celebration edition” ice cream released by its Great Value brand, a red velvet cheesecake flavor created to match the celebratory red, yellow, green, and black colors used for Juneteenth.
“Share and celebrate African-American culture, emancipation and enduring hope,” the label reads. Juneteenth became a federal holiday in June 2021 after President Joe Biden signed a law establishing it.
One Twitter user called @KevOnStage shared a TikTok video to his Twitter Sunday night account criticizing Juneteenth-themed products being sold by Walmart.
“Apparently Walmart has Great Value Juneteenth celebration edition ice cream, swirled red velvet and cheesecake flavored ice cream, and this is what happens when you commercialize federal holidays,” KevOnStage said in the video. “It just became a federal holiday, now you can celebrate with this ice cream. But wait, there’s more!” he said, pointing out a number of other products, like Juneteenth party supplies and decorations, wine, party masks and glasses, tee shirts, and water bottles.
KevOnStage also pointed out a rather inconveniently-placed “Congratulations Officer” celebration banner in the list of products. “And I am so upset about this, what I need Walmart to do is send me all this ice cream just so I can taste it and make sure it is wrong!” he said.
Other Twitter users were not so humorous in their criticism.
“We said we want the reparations we are owed. They gave us Representatives kneeling in Kente cloth, ice cream and party decorations,” said one user.
“Corporate America will co-opt Juneteenth now that it’s a federal holiday like everything else. We don’t have reparations, laws protecting our voting rights, or stopping Police from killing us, but we have ice cream…” said another.
“Capitalism is a retail conglomerate, owned by a white billionaire family, marketing an ice cream to celebrate a holiday that commemorates the emancipation of slaves in a country that was literally built on the backs on slaves,” another user stated.
Several other users complained that Walmart was selling its own brand of ice cream instead of promoting a similar flavor sold by a black-owned ice cream company.
The backlash caused Walmart to issue a statement saying that it was re-evaluating the decision to sell the ice cream.
“Juneteenth holiday marks a celebration of freedom and independence,” the company said in a statement, obtained by Fox 11 Los Angeles. “However, we received feedback that a few items caused concern for some of our customers and we sincerely apologize. We are reviewing our assortment and will remove items as appropriate.”
A bill to establish Juneteenth as a federal holiday was introduced the Senate in June 2021. The bill passed unanimously in the Senate, and by an overwhelming 415-14 margin in the House of Representatives. Biden signed the bill into law on June 17.
While Walmart was backing down from woke outrage, State Farm was also backed down from a plan to donate pro-LGBTQ books to schools and public libraries because of backlash from the public and from customers, as The Daily Wire reported.