Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) is coming under fire from an anti-pornography group for selling photo books the group says depict nude children and contain other exploitative materials. The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) has sent a letter to Wal-Mart CEO Doug McMillon expressing its “grave concern” about the company’s distribution and sales this material both the company’s stores and at the Walmart.com website.
NCOSE is an organization founded in 1962 as Morality in Media. The group changed its name in February 2015 “to better describe the organization’s scope and mission, which is to expose the seamless connection between all forms of sexual exploitation.”
The group extracted a pledge from Wal-Mart last year to ensure that Cosmopolitan magazine would be covered by blinders to prevent viewing by children. To date, NCOSE says, it continues to receive complaints that the magazine remains for sale at Wal-Mart checkout lanes.
Dawn Hawkins, executive director of NCOSE, said:
Wal-Mart now sells a wide array of sexually explicit material including some with child nudity, as well as sexually exploitive magazines and books providing instruction on how to traffic women into the commercial sex trade. We are shocked to discover Walmart.com sells Jock Sturges’ photography books—which display naked young girls, boys, and adolescents with frequent exhibition of the pubic regions. Such material provides toxic sexual excitement for pedophiles and others who are sexually aroused by minors. …
Walmart.com is also selling books that provide instructions on how to sexually traffic persons into prostitution. Books such as Pimpology and The Pimp’s Bible provide detailed tactics for aspiring pimps on how to coerce females into the commercial sex trade through ‘psychological warfare.’ Wal-Mart wouldn’t carry books with step-by-step instructions on rape or lynching, so why is it carrying books with instructions on ‘turning out’ women into the highly exploitive and abusive commercial sex trade?
In its letter to McMillon, NCOSE calls on Wal-Mart to remove Cosmopolitan magazine from its worldwide distribution and website, along with books by Sturges and all books containing what the group deems material related to sex trafficking and prostitution. NCOSE also requests a “complete review and removal from Walmart.com of any other sexually explicit and objectifying material.”
According to NCOSE’s 2016 “Dirty Dozen” list, Wal-Mart doesn’t even make the cut compared with the likes of Amazon, Amnesty International, the U.S. Department of Justice, Verizon and YouTube.