The product in question, which is being called tone-deaf and angering the masses on social media, is a limited-edition Juneteenth ice cream that is being rolled out in honor of the new holiday.
Juneteenth commemorates the emancipation of African Americans from slavery in America on June 19, 1865, and almost all states recognize Juneteenth as a holiday in some capacity, the date being officially made a federal holiday last year.
But now U.S. retailer Walmart is being called out for trying to capitalize on the holiday by pushing out a product that doesn’t appear to benefit or profit the African American community in any way.
The Celebration Edition: Juneteenth Ice Cream was released under Walmart’s Great Value brand and is a mix of red velvet and cheesecake flavored ice creams.
“Share and celebrate African American culture, emancipation and enduring hope,” the original container of the frozen treat said.
Many took to Twitter to call Walmart out for missing the mark, with many users noting that none of the proceeds of the ice cream were going toward helping any Black-owned businesses and that the flavor appeared to be lifted from Black-owned ice cream company Creamalicious.
So is that supposed to be a black man with the Junteenth flag wristband? Juneteenth ice cream? Wow thanks Walmart for your contributions the culture.
— Ben (@PapaBen75) May 23, 2022
So Walmart thought Juneteenth ice cream would be a good idea?
— MJ’s Lasagna (@MsMJsays) May 24, 2022
I don’t know what y’all expected, but getting mad at Walmart for making a Juneteenth themed ice cream is so useless.. Just don’t buy it and go support black owned businesses instead of being upset at a company who honestly does not care.
— just zahra (@afroalienz) May 22, 2022
It’s important to have #diverse voices at the table when making strategic business decisions. When you don’t, you end up making costly, foolish mistakes like @Walmart’s Great Value #Juneteenth Ice Cream. I am so done. #DoBetter #Walmart #ProfitingOffOfPain pic.twitter.com/sPGSOm7PSg
— Jen Littlejohn (She/Her) (@oliviamasseypr) May 22, 2022
You know. I could have been okay with Walmart’s now cancelled Juneteenth ice cream if they were giving a sizable portion of the proceeds to any cause that helped the black community, but instead they just engaged in blaxploitation for the sake of corporate greed. Oh well.
— Bobby B – (@RudeBoyNYK) May 24, 2022
Walmart woulda been in the clear had they not used “Juneteenth” as their hook. people would’ve already been on board for a red velvet cake ice cream. but when you create a bargain version of a Black company’s product and use a Black holiday to hide behind, you just look goofy.
— F. This Fitzgerald (@itsTiv) May 24, 2022
In all seriousness……
If you have seen the Juneteenth Ice Cream from Walmart, go ahead and grab some Creamalicious Red Velvet Cheesecake instead! Walmart could have used this opportunity to highlight this brand instead of making a cheap copycat for OUR Independence Day. pic.twitter.com/avlIkjvoOU
— ThatBoyTay (@lifeofvontay) May 23, 2022
“Wow thanks Walmart for your contributions the culture,” one user wrote sarcastically.
Others dubbed the product a “bargain version” and a “cheap copycat” of Black-owned Creamalicious’ Red Velvet Cheesecake flavor.
Amid the backlash, Walmart pulled the Juneteenth ice cream from shelves and online.
“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,” Walmart told CNN in a statement.
Walmart did not immediately respond to Entrepreneur‘s request for comment.
As of late Tuesday afternoon, Walmart was down around 12.5% year over year.