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Does Latest Outrage from Walmart Twitter Page Prove Nothing Can Be Joked About Safely Anymore?

Gettyimages | Tim P. Whitby
By Zachary Holt

Long gone are the days where jokes could simply be that, jokes. With the world so intricating connected via the internet and social media, any seemingly innocuous comment has the vast potential to offend someone or rile up the vitriolic backlash, despite the lack of nefarious intentions by whoever made the joke.

While there are certain things said that can be horrible and should not be joked about, it now seems to be the norm that nothing is off-limits to criticism, even if it's just a harmless, light-hearted joke. Walmart is having to learn this the hard way, as they just recently replied to a comment on an advertisement for a food product. The comment had a GIF of Paul Walker, the late actor, and you can probably infer where this went.

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Just Someone Who Really Wants Breakfast...

Twitter

The product that was advertised was Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls that came with strawberry and cream-flavored icing. Naturally, it looks like an appetizing breakfast option for some people. So much so for one social media user, that they commented, "I NEEDDDD THIS IN MY LIFEEEE!!!" To get their point across, they included a GIF, which happened to show the Fast and Furious actor, Paul Walker, who is now deceased, speeding through traffic. The GIF included the caption 'me racin to the nearest Wally World'.

Walmart Playing Along Goes 'Horribly Wrong'

Gettyimages | Carlos Alvarez

Harmless in itself, right? I mean, after all, it was an appropriate GIF to describe the user's immediate desire to try the Pillsbury breakfast product. Well, whoever was monitoring and operating Walmart's Twitter account felt compelled to respond. This is nothing new, as many large companies regularly interact with their customers through comments on social media platforms. If you want to read some grade-A commentary, check out Wendy's Twitter feed and responses.

Nonetheless, Walmart replied to the comment and GIF with, "Hey, Paul Walker. Click it, or ticket," a nod to the popular show, Workaholics, where the phrase was used during an episode prior. As you can guess, though, this is where things hit the metaphorical fan.

Nothing Inherently Wrong with Walmart's Twitter Reply, Walker Reference

Gettyimages | David Buchan

For those that don't know, Paul Walker died tragically in 2013 as he was traveling as a passenger in a Porsche, traveling well over 100 miles per hour. The nation mourned his unexpected death, and rightfully so. He was an amazing actor and was taken from this world way too soon, at the age of 40.

But at what point does something tragic like this make even one mention of their name off-limits? The reply by Walmart was not generating a laugh at the expense of Walker's death, but instead, that he happened to be featured in a movie series that centered on cars going fast, making the GIF relevant and applicable to the customer's post.

What Are You Fake Mad About Today?

Imgur

Common sense, a fleeting commodity, would indicate that there was nothing offensive said in the social media platform exchange. The need to get offended, though, something so prevalent nowadays, would win in the minds of people, at least on social media. Immediately, Walmart removed the post and issued a formal apology, catering to the people who try to find ways to create uproar about the most inconsequential things. Unfortunately, this is just another chapter in the book of 'Who's Offended Today?'. Note to self: Don't make statements about anyone who has passed away, no matter what they did during their lifetimes.

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