Skip to main content

Walmart Editing 'I Can't Breathe' Ad Following Eric Garner Complaints

Following viewer complaints that a Walmart commercial featuring the line “I can’t breathe” is too similar to the chokehold death of Eric Garner, the company has decided to edit the commercial.

In the commercial, an African-American father and daughter are sitting on the couch, talking about the benefits of a Walmart family mobile plan.

The father purchased a cellphone for his daughter earlier in the day at Walmart and surprises her with it during their conversation. She is overcome with happiness and throws her hands around his neck in a tight hug.

“I can’t breathe,” the father jokingly says as he struggles.

It is that phrase CNN reports that protesters nationwide have been using as a rally cry following the July 17 death of Eric Garner by chokehold in New York City.

It is what Garner can be heard saying to officers in the video of his assault preceding his death.

Due to complaints about the usage in the commercial, Walmart will change the ad, reports NBC News.

"Based on feedback from customers we're going to be re-editing the ad," said Deisha Barnett, Wal-Mart's senior director of corporate communications.

"It struck a nerve in myself," said Shana Sanders, a marketing professional from Atlanta, Georgia. ”It immediately made me think of the Eric Garner case where he was choked by the arms of a New York police officer."

The timing of the video is what concerns some viewers.

"Albeit, it's his daughter and he's joking about choking ... the timing of the video is not good," said Darrell London, an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission worker in Georgia. "I immediately thought of Eric Garner."

The commercial has been running since early this summer, it has only now caused alarmed following the grand jury decision to not indict the officer responsible for Garner’s death.

Walmart responded via Twitter to complaining viewers.

"We're re-editing as we speak based on feedback we've received," Walmart tweeted."We can see how the ad could be viewed differently today than when it first aired."

The original commercial may be viewed on YouTube.

Sources; CNN, NBC News / Photo Source: Screenshot/YouTube


Popular Video