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Juneteenth is finally getting its recognition, but not all of that attention is good.

The warm-weather holiday commemorates the emancipation of African Americans throughout the United States. It’s become popular over the last few years, which has become a federal holiday, and major brands are starting to incorporate it into their products– namely Walmart.

The discount department store had the bright idea of celebrating the holiday with Great Value Celebration Edition Juneteenth ice cream, a mix of red velvet and cheesecake flavored ice cream. The Celebration Edition flavor also has Pan-African colors red, green, and yellow wrapped around the container, encouraging buyers to “share and celebrate African-American culture, emancipation, and enduring hope.”

Walmart didn’t stop there and had plates and napkins to match the ice cream’s theme.

Once social media got wind of the stunt, they accused Walmart of pandering and said the entire idea was insensitive and offensive to monetize some’s struggle.

Then, Bridge—a group comprised of marketing and diversity, equity, and inclusion executives from companies like Unilever and NBC Universal– caught wind and issued an open letter to Walmart executives on May 23 calling on the retailer to remove the product from its shelves.

Walmart has since pulled the product and issued a statement of apology.

“The Juneteenth holiday marks a 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,”


Walmart is also launching a similar “celebration edition” for Pride Month, a mix of white chocolate ice cream with brownies and cherries.

Check out some reactions to the Juneteenth-themed  ice cream below:















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