- Walmart is under fire after the company’s Twitter account sent out a joke many deemed insensitive.
- “Hey, Paul Walker. Click it or ticket,” it said.
- The quote was a reference to the Comedy Central series Workaholics, but the context changed following Walker’s death by automobile accident in 2013.
Walmart is taking heat and has already issued a public apology after a deleted tweet, intended in jest, referenced the late actor Paul Walker.
After one Twitter user posted a story about Walmart selling Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls with Strawberry Icing, someone else responded with a tweet saying how excited they were to race to pick some up. “*me racin to the nearest Wally World*,” wrote user @iamlaurenmiles, with a gif of a car crossing lanes on the street included.
Walmart responded to that tweet with a joke that has since been deleted: “Hey, Paul Walker. Click it or ticket🚨”
As much as this was intended in jest, people weren’t happy. Walker died in November 2013 in a single-car automobile accident, and the tweet appeared to be making light of that.
While the Walmart tweet was deleted, it was screenshotted by multiple users online.
Walmart didn’t take long to issue an official apology for the tweet. “We apologize to Paul Walker’s family, friends and fans,” a spokesperson for Walmart said in a statement to PEOPLE. “The tweet was posted in poor judgement and has been removed.”
Fans online were immediately outraged with the insensitive joke by the retail giant.
The Walmart tweet was, in fact, making direct reference to a joke from the Comedy Central show Workaholics. Adam Devine’s character originated the exact quote: “Hey, Paul Walker, click it or ticket!”
However, the joke came from the second episode of Workaholics first season, which aired in April 2011—meaning the joke was simply making light of his role as a street racer in the Fast and Furious series. When Walker died in a car accident in November 2013, the line unintentionally earned a new way in that it could be read—making light of Walker’s tragic death.