Walmart was quick to stop selling a popular toy after a viral video revealed it was playing a song in Polish about cocaine, depression and suicide. The gadget, a dancing cactus toy, was touted as singing in multiple languages to help young children develop language skills. According to CTV News, the track in Polish was riskier.
CTV interviewed a woman named Ania Tanner from Brampton, Ontario in Canada. She bought the cactus at Walmart for her 15-month-old grandson and she spoke just Polish. She said the song the toy sings in that language is about being depressed, going through cocaine withdrawal and considering suicide. According to a report by The AV Club, it is part of a 2015 song called “Gdzie Jest Biały Węgorz? (Zejście)” by Polish rapper Cypis.
The title of the song roughly translates to “Where’s the White Eel? (The Descent)”, and it is indeed the darkest depths of addiction. Depending on the translation you trust, the song is extremely graphic and morbid. He describes the agony of withdrawal with horrible physical analogies.
It’s unclear exactly how the song ended up in these toys’ voice boxes. A representative for Cypis said he “was unaware that his song had been used by the Chinese children’s toy maker” and was considering “taking legal action … for using his song without permission.”
Tanner said she ordered her cactus from Walmart’s online store, and Walmart Canada assured reporters it has since been removed from inventory. However, these cacti have already made headlines – in July, a woman in Taiwan noticed her inappropriate language on a store shelf and alerted the manager. It may take some time before the entire inventory can be found.
SOMEONE GET ONE NOW https://t.co/xsVT6Olhor
– Brian Collins (@BrianWCollins) December 3, 2021
Walmart representatives said the cactus was sold by a third party – the same anonymous third party seller who previously listed a Christmas sweater depicting Santa Claus snorting cocaine in 2019. At the time, Walmart said The AV Club that the retailer “did not represent Walmart’s values.”
In both cases, the stories of these inappropriate products sparked heated debates on social media. Many commentators believed they had been mistakenly advertised to the wrong age groups, while others believed they represented a malicious attempt to teach children inappropriate things. Even now, many people on Twitter are looking for ways to get hold of the Rude Cactus.