Walmart has condemned a display inside one of its stores that appeared to market firearms as back-to-school items. The company said Wednesday it was working to identify which of its stores put up the exhibit.
A sign reading "Own the school year like a hero" was placed directly above a glass case filled with guns. Photos of it spread like wildfire on social media.
People cried foul on Twitter and demanded an explanation from Walmart. One person asked: "What are you suggesting?"
Walmart responded to some of the comments by calling the display "truly awful" and "horrible."
Spokesman Charles Crowson told CNNMoney that the company is "not happy" and is "working diligently" to find out where the photo was taken and ensure the sign has been removed.
Crowson told CNNMoney on Wednesday evening Walmart was still trying to find the sign and gun display. It wasn't immediately clear if the sign had been removed. Earlier Walmart said it had identified the location and had removed the sign. But Crowson said that had been a mistake.
This isn't the first time Walmart's marketing strategy has left consumers outraged.
Last September, a Walmart in Panama City Beach put up stacked boxes of Coca-Cola to resemble the World Trade Center in an apparent attempt to commemorate 9/11. Walmart corporate said it didn't mean any disrespect and the display was quickly taken down.
In 2014, the company apologized for selling a "fat girl" costume on its website.
A waitress who has a rainbow tattoo on her wrist has been left a homophobic note rather than a tip because customers assumed her sexuality.
Samantha Heaton works at a Buffalo Wild Wings in Illinois and on a recent shift, she served a couple who racked up a $60 bill.
Heaton explains that she went above and beyond for the couple, and during their time in the restaurant, neither religion or sexuality was discussed.
However, she was shocked that when she went to clear the couple’s table they had not left a tip, as is the norm in America.
Instead, a homophobic message was left on the receipt for her.
“Can’t tip someone who doesn’t love Jesus!” the note read with “Bad tatoo” [sic] added at the bottom.
Heaton should have been tipped around $12 for the service and was shocked at the discriminatory act.
Talking to The Rock River Times, she explained that the note was upsetting.
She said: “I went above and beyond for this couple, and for them to leave that kind of hurt.”
Heaton added that she was most upset about what ideas the couple were going to pass onto their young children.
“The kids are going to be under the impression that it will be OK to discriminate against anybody,” she said.
She explained that despite the homophobic action, she would still get the tattoo if she were to go back in time.
“Someone asked me the other day if I would go back in time and get the same tattoo and I said, ‘No I would get it bigger,” she said.
The photo of the note was shared on Facebook by Heaton’s colleague, Joelle Nicole Maish.
Maish wrote: “I would just like to say that being gay does NOT MEAN you don’t believe in God or Jesus. And people who are “religious” should not disrespect or act in such ways to other people. p.s., they spelled [sic] tattoo wrong.”
Hundreds of people have since commented on the homophobia and expressed their outrage.
One person wrote: “I’m so sorry you had to experience this level of ignorance.”
“Stuff like this absolutely breaks my heart. I’m a believer in Christ and this is not AT ALL what He called us to do. If in your faith you believe being gay is a sin, that’s your belief. However in my belief we don’t judge or condemn. All sin is equal,” another wrote.
“Wow… that is so cruel. I’m so sorry you had to experience this,” somebody else added.