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Calls for Groupon Boycott After Ad Uses N-Word to Describe Boots

What to Know

  • An ad for boots on Groupon used the n-word to describe the color of the footwear
  • Screenshots of the ad were going around social media Wednesday, with calls for a boycott
  • In a statement, Groupon condemned the ad and said it was published by a third-party seller who has since been removed

The online-deals website Groupon is apologizing after a third-party vendor used the n-word to describe a pair of boots it was selling.

Screenshots of the racist ad were being shared on social media Wednesday, with some people saying they would boycott Groupon.

In the ad for “Women's Fringed Suede Moccasin Boots,” the n-word was used to describe one of the colors the footwear was available in.

In a statement, Groupon said it took action as soon as it learned about the offending ad Wednesday. The company said it removed the third-party seller and pulled the deal from its website. 

“We are appalled that this language was displayed on our site,” Groupon said in the statement. “This is completely unacceptable and violates our policies -- to say nothing of our values.”

The company said the ad was posted via its “self-service platform” and that it would be “strengthening our self-service controls to ensure it doesn't happen again.”

CJ James, a minister in Harlem, was on Facebook when he saw a post with a screenshot of the ad.

He said he didn’t believe the screenshot was real, but when he went to the Groupon site, he saw the slur.

“I felt heartbroken. I felt embarrassed. I felt ashamed,” James said.

He says the statement from Groupon isn’t enough and that he wants a boycott of the website to battle the larger problem of racism in America.

“It was exposed on Groupon last night, but there are other vendors. There’s people who think and believe that these words should be part of our everyday English dictionary,” he said.

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