Earlier this week, Walmart Canada apologized after a number of Ugly Christmas Sweaters were discovered on its website, including one that showed a pantsless Santa sitting on the toilet, one with an alien holding a lengthy probe as it stood beside another Santa's exposed buttocks, and one with a different half-nude Santa warming his ballsack in front of a roaring fire.
One of the other designs available on the site depicted a wild-eyed (but fully clothed) Santa sitting behind three neatly cut lines of cocaine. "Let It Snow," was written in capitalized letters at the bottom of the sweater, because when you've done that much coke, the entire world is in ALL CAPS.
"We all know how snow works. It’s white, powdery and the best snow comes straight from South America,” the description of the sweater read. “That’s bad news for jolly old St. Nick, who lives far away in the North Pole. That’s why Santa really likes to savor the moment when he gets his hands on some quality grade A Colombian snow.”
When Global News reached out to Walmart Canada for comment, the company responded by pulling most of the sweaters from its website. "These sweaters, sold by a third-party seller on Walmart.ca, do not represent Walmart’s values and have no place on our website," a spokesperson said. "We have removed these products from our marketplace. We apologize for any unintended offense this may have caused."
Walmart might not have acted quickly enough—at least not when it comes to the Colombian government. According to the Washington Post, the National Agency for the Legal Defense of the State [of Colombia] has demanded that the retail giant financially compensate them for the implication that their country was involved at all in when it came to Sweater Santa's embroidered coke binge.
"The Walmart sweater is an offense to the country. It generates damage to the legal products of Colombia and damage to the country’s reputation,” the agency's director, Camilo Gómez Alzate, told El Tiempo. “Although Walmart apologized, the damage was done.”
And although Walmart.ca has yanked the sweater—and they were never available on the U.S. store—it's still very much available on Amazon. As Business Insider reported, a sweatshirt with the same Narcos-esque design is currently listed as a "#1 Best Seller" on Amazon.
The shirt is being sold by a matter-of-fact sounding vendor called Cocaine Santa Let it Snow which, as of this writing, has 226 products listed on Amazon, including several variations on, you know, Cocaine Santa, a smiling Cocaine Snowman, a friendly Cocaine Santa, a more desperate Cocaine Santa, a Cocaine Reindeer, a Cocaine Elf, and inexplicably, a Santa-hat wearing pug that has been left unattended behind a pile of cocaine.
Although these shirts and the other Cocaine Santa products that are currently available have been listed by third-party sellers, some product pages do say that the items "ship from and [are] sold by Amazon.com."
In a letter to shareholders earlier this year, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said that third-party sellers were "kicking our first-party butt" when it comes to sales on the site. In the past twenty years, third-party sales have grown from 3% of the company's total to a whopping 58%. But that growth has come with a number of high-profile pitfalls, ranging from sellers who ship out expired food, sell toxic skincare products, or take advantage of customers with extortionate shipping fees.
On its Code of Conduct for third-party sellers, Amazon does not include any depiction of drug use on its list of "Offensive and Controversial Materials," and they are not mentioned on its "Other Restricted Materials" list either. That means that Cocaine Santa might stick around for the entire holiday season… and Colombia might prep a second lawsuit.