Walmart is removing from shelves an ice cream product that commemorated Juneteenth, a US holiday that marks the freedom of enslaved African Americans, according to reports.
Here’s everything we know so far.
Social media was abuzz with comments from users who were angered by the product, which featured a swirl of red velvet and cheesecake flavors. Many criticized the company for appearing to capitalize on the holiday and its history.
“Share and celebrate African-American culture, emancipation and enduring hope,” the packaging on the swirled red velvet and cheesecake flavored ice cream reads.
“Juneteenth holiday marks a celebration of freedom and independence,” Walmart said in a statement to FOX television stations. “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.”
Users on social media are instead directing Walmart customers to buy Creamalicious ice cream, a Black-owned brand on sale in stores that features a red velvet cheesecake flavor.
Last year, President Joe Biden enacted a law to make Juneteenth, which takes place on June 19, a federal holiday. The holiday has been celebrated since the late 1800s and recognized in the majority of US states. The push to make it a federal holiday, however, gained momentum following protests in response to George Floyd’s murder by a white police officer.
Comedian Roy Wood Jr. was among those who ridiculed the ice cream. “Would you like some Juneteenth Ice cream on a Juneteenth plate as you sip your beer in a Juneteenth Koozie?” he tweeted.