Walmart Inc. is under fire after its website offered t-shirts from third-party sellers with “IMPEACH 45” emblazoned across the front in big capital letters — a call to bring down the 45th U.S. president, Donald Trump.
The shirts that come in several shades — plus similar baby onesies and even frisbees — have the Twitter-sphere in a frenzy and spurred a grassroots call to boycott the world’s biggest retailer. The hashtag #BoycottWalmart even began trending on Twitter.
The t-shirts weren’t being sold by Walmart itself, but by third-party sellers including Old Glory and Teespring Inc. Such sellers can sign up to advertise products on Walmart’s website, and the retail giant gets a commission on each sale. As news outlets began to report on the shirts, the original listings were no longer available.
“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 an email. “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.”
Pro vs. Anti
Old Glory, which was founded in 1969 and makes its t-shirts in Westbrook, Connecticut, received “a couple thousand” orders of the impeachment apparel today alone, accounting for about half of the day’s sales, Morelli said. However, since the president has taken office, Old Glory has sold more pro-Trump shirts than anti-Trump ones, he said.
A spokesman for Walmart didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
Sellers on the website offer a slew of other politicized products, including “IMPEACH OBAMA” and “IMPEACH NIXON” license plates, though some of those listings also appeared to be removed. Amazon.com Inc. has oodles of impeachment merchandise, too, including “Impeach 45” football jerseys, tank tops and sweatshirts.
It’s not the first time Walmart has gotten into hot water for controversial t-shirts for sale on its website. Last year, the retailer came under fire after a third-party seller offered t-shirts that suggested killing journalists. The t-shirts read: “Rope. Tree. Journalist. Some assembly required.”