Twitter has been around since 2006, and sometime between then and now, this weird thing started happening where corporate brands developed sassy personalities. And you’d have moments in which, let’s say, Wendy’s would be fighting with Serta Mattresses, or Preparation H would start trending for “clapping back” at Squatty Potty. Walmart recently learned the hard way that not every Twitter response needs to be a damn zinger, and that some attempts at being funny might be considered very poor taste. Like when they recently tried to cause internet LOLs by replying to a driving joke with a joke about the late Paul Walker.
This all started after a Twitter user named Lauren Miles shared a story about Walmart selling Pillsbury strawberry cinnamon rolls. Lauren then replied to her own tweet with a GIF of erratic driving and a joke about how she’s off to Walmart ASAP.
*me racin to the nearest Wally World* pic.twitter.com/JYzQaCzCQ0
— LSM (@iamlaurenmiles) January 14, 2020
But here’s where it gets bad. TMZ says that whoever runs the Walmart Twitter account decided to get in on the jokes, and replied to Lauren in a way that definitely saw them lose their Twitter privileges, and gain a six-hour HR-mandated social media conduct workshop. In a tweet that has since been deleted for obvious reasons, Walmart replied: “Hey Paul Walker. Click it, or ticket.”
Y’all gonna want this here when they delete it pic.twitter.com/OnVfindorw
— Hayden King (@nbayy) January 16, 2020
Walmart was probably trying to make a Fast and the Furious joke, by way of the Comedy Central series Workaholics.
And that would have been a funny joke, if it was made prior to November 30th, 2013. That’s the day 40-year-old Paul Walker died in a car crash. It didn’t take Twitter very long to call out Walmart and accuse them of cracking a joke that will always be 2 tacky, 2 soon. The only way the backlash could have gotten worse is if Vin Diesel posted a video of himself to Instagram, growling about how he’s so upset with Walmart’s disrespectful tweet that he’ll only be shopping at Target from here on out. Luckily, it didn’t get that far. Walmart quickly issued the following apology in response to the situation:
“We apologize to Paul Walker’s family, friends and fans. The tweet was posted in poor judgement and has been removed.”
Walmart should also apologize for making a joke that didn’t even make any sense. How does clicking your seat belt make any difference to how soon one might get to a Walmart? I get having a case of writer’s block, but that’s just lazy. They should’ve gone with: “That’s very kind of you, but I don’t know if anyone has ever been that excited to go to a Walmart.”