- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Walmart is removing Cosmopolitan magazine from checkout line shelves after pressure from the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE), the group announced Tuesday.

“This is what real change looks like in our #MeToo culture, and NCOSE is proud to work with a major corporation like Walmart to combat sexually exploitative influences in our society,” Dawn Hawkins, executive director of the anti-pornography group, said in a statement. “Women, men, and children are bombarded daily with sexually objectifying and explicit materials, not only online, but in the checkout line at the store.”

Founded in 1962, the NCOSE bills itself as the “leading national organization exposing the links between all forms of sexual exploitation such as child sexual abuse, prostitution, sex trafficking and the public health crisis of pornography.”

The group successfully pressured Walmart in 2015 to place Cosmopolitan behind blockers in checkout lanes.

“You can go through and buy your groceries with your family knowing you don’t have to be exposed to this graphic and often degrading and offensive material,” NCOSE Vice President of Advocacy and Outreach Haley Halverson said in a Facebook live session Tuesday, USA Today reported. “Instead, all of these magazines will be moved, in isolation, to the magazine racks.”

Walmart said Tuesday that it would continue to sell Cosmopolitan at its 5,000 stores nationwide but that they would be pulled from the checkout line.

“As with all products in our store, we continue to evaluate our assortment and make changes,” a company spokesperson told The Cut. “Walmart will continue to offer Cosmopolitan to customers that wish to purchase the magazine, but it will no longer be located in the checkout aisles. While this was primarily a business decision, the concerns raised were heard.”

Cosmopolitan declined to comment directly on the news, but told BuzzFeed News that the magazine is “proud” of its commitment to female empowerment.

“Cosmopolitan is the most successful global media brand for young women, with award-winning content produced by leading female journalists,” a spokesperson said, BuzzFeed News reported. “With our focus on empowerment, we are proud of all that the brand has achieved for women around the world in the areas of equality, health, relationships, career, politics and social issues.”

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