Walmart’s attempt to commemorate Juneteenth with a new ice cream didn’t go over so well.
Walmart is facing backlash after releasing multiple Juneteenth-themed products, including a red velvet and cheesecake flavored ice cream, ahead of the now federal holiday on June 19.
Shortly after social media users got wind of the tone-deaf-deemed products, the retailer was accused of using their Great Value ice cream brand as a way to profit off the holiday, which commemorates the end of slavery.
The label on the ice cream container reads, “Share and celebrate African-American culture, emancipation, and enduring hope.”
Would you like some Juneteenth Ice cream on a Juneteenth plate as you sip your beer in a Juneteenth Koozie? pic.twitter.com/VCDpfOgYro
— Roy Wood Jr- Ex Jedi (@roywoodjr) May 23, 2022
One Twitter user made it known that a similar ice cream flavor by a Black-owned business already exists.
“Walmart literally saw a successful small Black business and thought they could get away with stealing their flavor and re-branding it for Juneteenth,” they tweeted. “Anyways, Creamalicious is available at Target.”
Another Tweeter responded to that post with, “Walmart could’ve supported Black owner brands and put them on their shelves. Instead, they chose to Great Value and trademark Black emancipation.”
Walmart could’ve supported Black owner brands and put them on their shelves. Instead, they chose to Great Value and trademark Black emancipation. You can tell they don’t have Black people helping make these decisions.
— Vivian Kaye (@itsviviankaye) May 23, 2022
Walmart issued an official statement in response to the backlash with PEOPLE magazine: “Juneteenth holiday marks a commemoration and celebration of freedom and independence. 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.”
As if the ice cream wasn’t enough to commemorate Juneteenth, Walmart also offered plastic dinnerware sets consisting of plates, cups, and napkins that read, “It’s the freedom for me.”
— Air-Rum (@__aarum) May 23, 2022
The global retailer has since then pulled the pints and other items off of store shelves.