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This time of year, a dozen Walmart employees are working overtime to try to head off tacky and offensive Halloween costumes at the pass. They're "Walmart's Halloween swat team," according to Bloomberg, and the job of the retailer's trust and safety compliance department is to get distasteful costumes off Walmart's website before they make headlines.
Walmart sells 40,000 costumes online and as its website expands to keep up with Amazon, the big box store is relying more on third-party vendors whose costumes might not be appropriate.
So far, Walmart's Halloween swat team was able to ban the following hot-button costumes: a Cecil the Lion head sold with a dentist smock, a Caitlyn Jenner parody costume, and an abhorrent-sounding costume that invoked "the dispute between Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly and Donald Trump," as Bloomberg's Jeff Green writes.
"We want Halloween to be fun and to be a surprise," Walmart Global eCommerce head of media relations Bao Nguyen told Bloomberg. "But we don’t want to belittle serious incidents."
The swat team wasn't able to catch everything this year, though. An Israeli soldier children’s costume, a Little Amigo costume modeled by a white boy with a fake mustache, and a "Sheik" costume with a fake "Arab nose" all drew customer complaints and were subsequently removed from the site.