Kmart has come under fire after certain religious words including “Jesus,” “church,” and “Bible” were banned at photo printing kiosks while the words “mosque,” “Islam,” and “Koran” were not.
While attempting to print photographs for a church group, Australian Kmart customers Anthony Dorsett and his wife, Marelynda, found that certain Christian-related words — including “God,” “church,” “Jesus,” “Jewish” and “Bible” — were deemed to be profanity and replaced by asterisks, The Daily Telegraph reports. However, “mosque,” “Islam” and “Koran” were found to be acceptable.
Anthony Dorsett told the news publication that his wife was “offended” and she “thought it was disgusting.”
“She is not a snowflake or anything, she doesn’t get offended by much but this offended her,” he said.
Amid backlash, Kmart issued a statement saying that a software error at the Kodak kiosks had led to “offensive” words being replaced and was not specific to Christianity.
“This is a system error and it will be updated overnight. It in no way reflects our views as a business,” the spokesman told The Daily Telegraph.
“At Kmart, we support diversity and inclusiveness irrespective of race, religion, age, gender, ethnicity, ability, appearance or attitude and we want our teams and stores to reflect the communities in which we operate.”
A Kodak spokesman told the news publication that the ban on religious terms “was a complete error” and they had remedied the problem by Thursday morning.
However, the explanation fell flat with some, including Australia's "Sunrise" morning TV show host Samantha Armytage who called it “rubbish.”
“Kmart’s come out this morning and said it’s a technical glitch, rubbish!” Armytage said while leading a discussion on the matter with two other panelists.
“They have to beg for forgiveness to whichever god they beg to,” she added.
Sky News’ Daisy Cousens also called the selection of words a “huge double standard.”
“It’s like it’s a joke. Sure, they’ve blamed it on a software error but isn’t that what you blame everything on when something goes wrong that’s somewhat controversial?” she said. “This is just unbelievable. It’s such a huge double standard.”
The Illinois-based company, a subsidiary of Sears Holding Corp, filed for bankruptcy a second time in 2018.
In 2013, the company received the ire of conservative group One Million Moms for its “Ship My Pants” commercial.
The 35-second ad, which advertised the store's policy allowing patrons to order items online if they’re not available in store, showed actors repeatedly saying “ship.”
In response, One Million Moms complained that the word sounds too close to “s—t” and called it “ridiculous” and “disgusting.”
“Kmart should be more responsible for their marketing decisions. Let them know that as a parent and a consumer you are offended,” the organization said, the International Business Times reported.
“Kmart’s distasteful new commercial has to go! This ad should be pulled off the air immediately,” said the organization. “Shame on Kmart for airing inappropriate commercials.”