Walmart has removed Cosmopolitan magazine from its checkout aisles, although it will still be available in stores. The retailer said it was primarily a business decision, but concerns raised by groups over the magazine’s content were heard.
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A conservative pressure group, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, said Walmart’s decision made it a “leader and trailblazer in corporate responsibility”.
Formed in the early 1960s as Morality in Media and renamed in 2015, the NCSE is a faith-based group that campaigns against pornography, which it has called a “public health crisis”.
Executive director Dawn Hawkins said: “This is what real change looks like in our #MeToo culture.”
She added: “Cosmo sends the same messages about female sexuality as Playboy. It places women’s value primarily on their ability to sexually satisfy a man and therefore plays into the same culture where men view and treat women as inanimate sex objects.”
Walmart senior director of corporate affairs Meggan Kring said customers could still find Cosmopolitan in magazine sections.
Cosmopolitan’s parent company, Hearst, did not immediately comment. Victoria Hearst, a member of the media family, has worked with the NCSE in campaigning against Cosmopolitan.
In 2015, she told the New York Post: “God told me to work to get Cosmo out of the hands of children, so that’s what I am doing.”