Walmart Stops Selling Toy After Inappropriate Detail Discovered
Walmart scrambled to stop selling a popular toy after a viral video revealed that it played a Polish-language song was about cocaine, depression and suicide. The gadget, a dancing cactus toy, was advertised as singing in multiple languages to help young children develop their linguistic skills. According to CTV News, the Polish-language track was more risque.
CTV interviewed a woman named Ania Tanner from Brampton, Ontario in Canada. She purchased the cactus from Walmart for her 15-month-old grandchild, and she just happened to have some fluency in Polish. She said tha the song the toy sings in that language is about being depressed, experiencing cocaine withdrawals and considering suicide. According to a report by The A.V. Club, it's part of a 2015 song called "Gdzie Jest Biały Węgorz? (Zejście)" by the Polish rapper Cypis.
The song title roughly translates to "Where's The White Eel? (The Descent)," and it is indeed about the darkest depths of drug addiction. Depending on the translation you trust, the song is extremely graphic and morbid. It describes the agony of withdrawal with horrific physical analogies.
It's not clear exactly how the song ended up in the voice boxes of these toys. A representative for Cypis said that he "is reportedly unaware his song was used by the Chinese manufacturer of the children's toy" and is planning "to take legal action... for using his song without permission."
Tanner said that she ordered her cactus from Walmart's online store, and Walmart Canada assured reporters that it has since been removed from the inventory. However, these cacti have actually made headlines before – back in July, a woman in Taiwan noticed its inappropriate language on a store shelf and alerted the manager. It may be a while before the entire inventory can be found.
SOMEONE GET ME ONE RIGHT NOW https://t.co/xsVT6Olhor— Brian Collins (@BrianWCollins) December 3, 2021
Walmart representatives said that the cactus was sold by a third party – the same unnamed third-party seller that once listed a Christmas sweater depicting Santa Claus snorting cocaine in 2019. At the time, Walmart told The A.V. Club that the retailer did "not represent Walmart's values."
In both cases, the stories of these inappropriate products led to fierce debates on social media. Many commenters thought that they had been mistakenly advertised to the wrong age groups, while others thought they represented a malicious attempt to teach children inappropriate things. Even now, many people on Twitter are looking for ways to get the foul-mouthed cactus for themselves.