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Walmart Under Fire Over Juneteenth Ice Cream

Photo: Getty Images

Walmart is apologizing for their "Juneteenth," flavor of ice cream.

It sparked a backlash, that the company was attempting to cash in on the holiday.

"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."

The Juneteenth flavor — swirled red velvet and cheesecake — caused a some Twitter users to point out that the ice cream flavor was tone-deaf, given it was sold by a company founded by a White family and run by a White CEO.

"It's problematic when White-owned brands and companies treat Juneteenth as another commercialized (co-opt) opportunity void of any commitments to the [African-American] community, change or simple understanding of what Juneteenth is," one Twitter user wrote.

Juneteenth became the nation's 12th federal holiday when President Joe Biden signed it into law.

Bridge, a company focused on improving diversity and inclusion in businesses, issued an open letter to Walmart executives.

"Would you launch an ice cream called January 27? The day the world remembers the Holocaust. Or April 7, the day that memorializes the genocide in Rwanda. Of course not," the letter noted, pointing out that the ice cream placed a "TM" trademark next to the word "Juneteenth"on the label. "Placing a TM and claiming ownership of the word 'Juneteenth' further exacerbates the lack of understanding of laying claim to something that represents so much to an entire population. Juneteenth simply cannot be owned."

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