March 27, 2018

Press Statement: Walmart to Remove Cosmopolitan Magazine from Checkout Lines Following Advocacy by the National Center on Sexual Exploitation

Washington, DC – The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) has instigated a significant policy change at Walmart as part of our continued work to change corporate policies that facilitate sexual exploitation. After collaborative dialogue with NCOSE, Walmart will remove Cosmopolitan magazine from checkout lines at 5,000 stores across the country. Protecting minors from the sexually explicit material that Cosmopolitan embodies and perpetuates has been a long-time priority of NCOSE.

“This is what real change looks like in our #MeToo culture, and NCOSE is proud to work with a major corporation like Walmart to combat sexually exploitative influences in our society. Women, men, and children are bombarded daily with sexually objectifying and explicit materials, not only online, but in the checkout line at the store,” said Dawn Hawkins, Executive Director at the National Center on Sexual Exploitation.

“Cosmo sends the same messages about female sexuality as Playboy. It places women’s value primarily on their ability to sexually satisfy a man and therefore plays into the same culture where men view and treat women as inanimate sex objects. Further, Cosmo targets young girls by placing former Disney stars on its covers, despite the enclosed sexually erotic articles which describe risky sexual acts like public, intoxicated, or anal sex in detail. Customers should not be forced to be exposed to this content when they are trying to check-out at the store.”

“Walmart’s removal of Cosmo from checkout lines is an incremental but significant step toward creating a culture where women and girls are valued as whole persons, rather than as sexual objects. We are grateful for Walmart’s cooperation and for Walmart leadership’s recognition that corporations must do their part to change #MeToo culture.”

“Walmart’s decision makes it a leader and trailblazer in corporate responsibility. It is a big ship to turn, and ensuring Walmart’s new policy is enforced across the country will require continued vigilance. We applaud Walmart and also call on our supporters and those in our coalition to monitor Walmart’s progress as it works to implement this pivotal policy change,” Hawkins added.

NCOSE Vice President of Advocacy and Outreach Haley Halverson did a Facebook Live event discussing this new development.

For more information on NCOSE’s prior work with Walmart, click here. To read about NCOSE’s current efforts to change policies that facilitate sexual exploitation, visit DirtyDozenList.com.

National Center on Sexual Exploitation

Founded in 1962, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) is the leading national organization exposing the links between all forms of sexual exploitation such as child sexual abuse, prostitution, sex trafficking and the public health crisis of pornography.

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