Corporations frequently come under fire for using tone-deaf ads or selling offensive products. In December, American Eagle was ridiculed for selling a bracelet resembling a slave shackle. And just yesterday, March 27th, a Heineken ad was pulled off the air for its racist message. Now, the website Groupon has been caught using a racial slur in one of its product descriptions — and Twitter users want to #ShutdownGroupon.
Screenshots posted today, March 28th, show an innocent-looking listing for winter boots, available in a variety of colors. However, upon closer inspection, one of the shades the shoes came in is described as “[n-word] brown.” According to Cosmopolitan, Groupon stores Kojwa and Margines, among others, used the same description. The slur appeared in listings for multiple kinds of shoes as well — not just the one pair of boots.
Groupon swiftly issued an apology for the racial slur, saying that the offending listings were posted by third-party sellers.
In the statement, the spokesperson clarified that the posts, along with the sellers, had been removed from the company’s website. But the damage had already been done, and several Twitter users expressed outrage, using the hashtag #ShutdownGroupon.
Girls Trip star Tiffany Haddish is currently a spokesperson for Groupon and even appeared in the company’s Super Bowl ad. So far, the actress hasn’t commented on the racial slur.
It’s appalling that Groupon allowed listings using the slur to be posted on its site. We’re disgusted that this happened, and hope companies in the future work harder to prevent racist ads.