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Comments about ‘Wal-Mart pulls Osama bin Laden costume after pressure from Sikh community’

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Published: Monday, Sept. 30 2013 6:25 p.m. MDT

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Thriller
Saint George, UT

I'm sure there will be people who cry about our overly-PC world and most of the time I'm with them. But I do like to see a company listen to what consumers have to say and then choose a course of action. What I hate to see is when businesses are forced to do something out of fear of offending someone. But I don't see that being the case here.

Howard Beal
Provo, UT

It's tasteless and i'm glad Wal-Mart for once came to its senses...

Ranch
Here, UT

Wow, talk about poor taste.

Shawnm750
West Jordan, UT

On the one hand, I see this costume and think "Who in the world thought this would be a good idea to market this in the U.S.?" That's the epitome of insensitivity...

On the other hand (playing the devil's advocate here,) I have to ask if we'd cry foul if someone marketed a costume of Nero, Ghengis Kahn or Attila the Hun? (I know some of these costumes actually exist, but aren't all that common...) These men did horrible things and yet, we put on their costumes for fun. Granted, no one alive today has been directly impacted by any of these men, but we still know what they all did...but, perhaps because they are historical figures, it's less offensive.

As I stated above, I find the Osama bin Laden costume to be insensitive and applaud Wal-Mart for pulling it (though WHY they would ever sell it to begin with is beyond comprehension...but it is Wal-Mart after all!) But, I do think that if we're going to be a society that permits freedom of expression, at some point (sadly) we're going to have to allow costumes like these...

Maudine
SLC, UT

@ Thriller: This costume was pulled specifically because it offended people. Please explain why you differentiate "listen to what consumers have to say and then choose a course of action[]" from "businesses are forced to do something out of fear of offending someone." Those two comments are contradictory.

Again - this costume was pulled because it was offensive and shoppers expressed their dissatisfaction. It looks exactly like your third sentence.

@ Shawnm750: "But, I do think that if we're going to be a society that permits freedom of expression, at some point (sadly) we're going to have to allow costumes like these..."

This costume was totally allowed. "Freedom of expression" refers to government limitations. The government did not prohibit this costume nor participate in any efforts to have the stores not sell it.

Walmart is perfectly welcome to sell this costume and those who are offended are perfectly welcome to shop somewhere else. Walmart decided it was more important to have the shoppers than to sell the costume, but in no way was their freedom of expression infringed.

m.g. scott
clearfield, UT

What I'd like to know is what parent would even want a child to wear such a thing? You think a Hitler costume would sell?

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