Walmart has admitted that the photo lab staff at one of its store made a mistake when they refused to print pictures of a mother nursing her son.
The husband of Edmonton mom Kayla Andre wanted to give his wife the picture as a special Mother’s Day present. Andre says her husband was denied the print because the photo staff deemed it to be nudity.
“When he went to go pick it up, they brought the photo out and said unfortunately, although this means a lot to you, we can’t print it for you and we cannot sell it to you,” Andre said. “He said, ‘well why not,’ and they said ‘because it’s nudity and Walmart has very strict no nudity policy.’”
Her husband protested, CTV News reported.
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“He replied with, ‘it’s not nudity, it’s my wife feeding our child.’ And they said ‘well if you look really closely, you can see a little bit of something there,'” she said.
Andre was upset with the decision.
“My photo has no sexual connotation at all and here it is getting denied.”
Kirsten Goa, president of the Breastfeeding Action Committee of Edmonton, says what happened at the store is not a shock.
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“I was both annoyed and not surprised because I’ve been dealing with incidents like this for more than a decade,” Goa said. “Censorship of breastfeeding both in terms of personal harassment, women covering up, women hiding in their houses, and their Facebook photos being deleted, all of that is happening all the time. That really intimidates a lot of people when they’re nursing their babies.”
Walmart admits that an error was made.
“We made a mistake. That photo should have been printed,” said company spokesperson Alex Roberton. “It’s the clarity in the policy. It’s obviously inappropriate to print certain photos so there needs to be some guidance for photo centre staff but that guidance wasn’t clear enough for them to know that those photos should have been printed from the get-go.”