Until today, Walmart was apparently selling Banksy knockoffs on its website, including one print ironically titled: "Destroy Capitalism." Another print derived from the work street artist Eddie Colla, which Slate claims Walmart mistook for a Banksy, reads, "If you want to achieve greatness, stop asking for permission."
Banksy is a pseudonym of a famous UK-based anti-capitalist graffiti "artist." It wasn't immediately clear why Walmart agreed to purchase the Banksy knockoffs from a third-party vendor. Walmart is, as you know, one of the biggest corporations in the U.S.
LAist obtained the following statement from a Walmart spokesperson:
These items are sold through our Marketplace third-party sellers Wayfair and PlumStruck. We’ve taken action to disable the one item in question by Callo (sic), and it will be unpublished later tonight around midnight PT.
We will also instruct Wayfair and Plumstruck to review their artwork to ensure the descriptions are accurate. They’ve provided great products and experiences to our customers and are contracted to comply with product copyright, safety, testing and certification requirements. We’ll work closely with them on the review.
Colla was not happy with Walmart using his work to "appeal to a gullible consumer base." He also told 1xrun.com that "Walmart is right up there with the biggest douche bags in the game."
To that point, Colla reportedly created a new print, titled "It's Only Stealing If You Get Caught," in retaliation:
The "Destroy Capitalism" print is now listed as "out of stock" and reportedly no longer for sale on Walmart.com, though it was visible by search on Tuesday night. The other print had been completely removed.
A spokesperson with PlumStruck reportedly told Slate they get the prints from yet another third-party.
"When I asked the PlumStruck rep who their supplier was, she told me she "didn't have the spelling" of their name, but that phonetically it sounds like "Kroto Inc" (a cursory Google search doesn't turn much up). I've also asked the PR agency that represents Banksy to weigh in on the matter," Slate's Emma Roller writes.