Walmart forced to remove ‘offensive’ shirt from stores after customers spot hidden swear word

Walmart found itself in a bit of a pickle when it had to yank a t-shirt off its shelves after customers noticed a rather embarrassing design flaw. The retail giant, in an effort to promote environmental consciousness similar to Greta Thunberg, introduced a green t-shirt in its Canadian stores priced at an affordable $5. The shirt carried an eco-friendly slogan: “Recycle, Reuse. Renew. Rethink.”

The design featured the prefix ‘re’ in an enlarged font on the left, with the words ‘cycle,’ ‘use,’ ‘new,’ and ‘think’ lined up beside it. Seems harmless enough, right? However, a sharp-eyed Twitter user pointed out a major oversight: if you look solely at the first letter of each of the words following ‘re,’ they spell out an offensive term. The user humorously tweeted: “I need this shirt before Walmart realises what they have done. Find the hidden word.”

The revelation quickly became viral, amassing nearly 20,000 likes and sparking over a thousand comments from equally astonished customers. The reactions ranged from amused to shocked. One commenter exclaimed: “The C word on full display.” Another joked about making the hidden message more visible: “I need this so that I can get a marker and circle the hidden word like a word search.”

The shopper was shocked to see the t-shirt in stores (Twitter)

Speculations about the designer’s awareness of the blunder were rampant. “So THIS is why C U Next Tuesday was trending,” remarked a Twitter user, while another asked about the likelihood that the design was intentional: “What’s the over/under that whoever designed that shirt knew exactly what they were doing?” A professional from the apparel printing industry expressed disbelief: “Wow, as someone that prints clothing for a living, I’m amazed this made it to the shop floor. They had to know surely?!”

The controversial t-shirt was available in Walmart’s Canadian locations (Joe Raedle/Getty Images) and sparked predictions about employment consequences: “Someone will get fired over this,” suggested another commentator.

The t-shirt was on sale in Walmarts in Canada (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Eventually, the uproar reached Walmart’s corporate ears, and they swiftly removed the offensive t-shirt from their stores. A spokesperson confirmed to FOX: “The shirt was only sold at Walmart Canada locations and has been removed from stores.”

Despite its removal, the infamous t-shirt lives on in the digital marketplace. A quick online search shows that several vendors are now selling the design at a steeper price than Walmart’s original $5, capitalizing on its newfound notoriety.