Statement by NCSE Executive Director, Dawn Hawkins
Washington, DC – Walmart now joins the ranks of other major supermarket chains, RiteAid and Delhaize America, with its recent commitment to put Cosmopolitan behind blinders in their stores, nationwide. The National Center on Sexual Exploitation initiated this change by bringing the harms of minors being exposed to Cosmopolitan, a pornographic publication filled with explicit “how-to” sexual instructions and pictures, to the attention of Walmart, the multinational retail corporation.
“I applaud Walmart for its decision to place Cosmopolitan behind blockers in order to protect minors from being targeted by a magazine that prides itself in promoting a pornified culture through its explicit articles and images,” said Dawn Hawkins, NCSE Executive Director. “Cosmopolitan regularly targets children, yet continues to print adult content which children should not see or read. In its current issue, Cosmopolitan features a drawing by a 6th grade girl scout reader in the same issue that gives detailed descriptions of sexual acts for the purpose of pleasing a man. While Walmart previously had a policy to cover Cosmopolitan in its stores, the enforcement became increasingly lax in recent years. The National Center on Sexual Exploitation commends Walmart for now committing to enforce this policy in order to better protect its customers. NCSE claims another victory as the editorial content of the magazine seems to be shifting, at least in the next issue. The September issue, featuring yet again another Disney teen star, has removed the usual graphic sexual headlines from the cover. This is a significant departure from Cosmopolitan’s norm, as over 85 of Cosmopolitan’s recent issues were found to feature explicit headlines.”
NCSE and Victoria Hearst are partnering to ultimately call for stores to put wrappers on all Cosmopolitan magazines, and to refuse to sell them to minors. NCSE has campaigned against Cosmopolitan magazine since 2013 when the publication was listed on NCSE’s Dirty Dozen List, a list of the top twelve organizations contributing to sexual exploitation.
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