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Should Wal-Mart Censor Artists?

It seems fair for a store to make decisions about what it wants to sell. For example, if an owner of a small business opposes vulgarity, she might pass on selling CDs with explicit language.

When Wal-Mart, the largest record store in the country, refuses to sell an artist's record because it contains bad language and insists that it will do so only after the band has released an edited, "clean" version — this is de facto censorship, and, in my opinion, an abuse of corporate power.

Green Day's album "21st Century Breakdown" won't be sold in Wal-Mart because the band refused to edit it for language and content, and knowing their reputation, probably never will. Basically, Wal-Mart is preventing a large portion of an artist's audience from enjoying the artist's authentic work.

Do you think Wal-Mart should be allowed to dictate these standards to artists? Should Green Day suck it up and release a Wal-Mart friendly version?

Join The Conversation
gd101 gd101 7 years
ok, first of all I'm a huge Green Day fan!!!! Second, I don't need to go to Wal-mart to buy a Green Day CD! I love them and I have other options to buy their CD. Green Day can say what they want to say!!!! Wal-mart not selling their album is NOT going to bring their sales down!!!
Autumns_Elegy Autumns_Elegy 8 years
Segat1, I still buy CDS :( I prefer them over buying mp3's. I love being able to hold the cd and check out the album art. I dont think Greenday should suck up, why should they? An artist should be able to say what they like, if someone doesn't like it then that someone doesn't have to listen to it. It's that simple.
staple-salad staple-salad 8 years
I'll never buy a censored CD. Ever. Goes against my morals.
poissondujour poissondujour 8 years
Good for Green Day sticking to their position. And I'm glad it's getting publicized that Wal-Mart will only sell censored versions. It's their right to stock what they want, but it's our right to boycott (*cough*Blockbuster*cough*) if they take that position. (Not that that's the only reason I refuse to shop there.) I'm not sure what good it does ultimately. I mean, maybe they want that image, but people are going to buy what they want. They're just forcing people to go other places.
RockAndRepublic RockAndRepublic 8 years
That's fine, they're not the only music retailers out there.
kurniakasih kurniakasih 8 years
Walmart is the largest..record store? Ha. I didn't know that. Anyway, I don't think anyone should be able to 'censor' anyone, but if their store policy (probably new one?) has this attached and they decide not to carry Green Day's record (without 'cleaner' version), it's really their choice, and it can end up hurting themselves too. (But I could've sworn that they have 'Grand Theft Auto' on their stores a long time ago when I looked--Geez). Green Day also don't have to sell at Walmart. Their fans could go ahead and buy their products somewhere else, when I was a huge fan of them, I'd buy their record regardless the place. If they don't have it at Walmart, most likely they have it somewhere else.
WeTheLiving WeTheLiving 8 years
I don't see how WalMart refusing to sell a cd keeps fans from getting the cd. If someone really wants to get it, there many other sources- other retail stores & online stores & I-Tunes. I think WalMart's policy only hurts themselves; people just go elsewhere to buy it so they lose money. Also, I'm always afraid to buy movies from there cuz I'm not sure if they only sell "clean" versions of those too, and I want the theater version, so I buy my movies elsewhere.
fcseamstress fcseamstress 8 years
I agree that they're both in the right. As much as I despise Wal-Mart, they have the right not to carry an item in their store. And Green Day, being the post-punk (semi-)non-conformist type group they are, shouldn't have to change their lyrics for any store. I do agree that Wal-Mart needs to seriously examine their obscenity policy. They'll sell a game where you can rape, kill, sell and buy drugs, but not a CD that says the F-word... Not to mention all the sexual lyrics that don't cuss in R&B/rap music... It won't hurt Green Day's sales though. Does anyone know if Wal-Mart carried their last album? It still did really well...
T-S T-S 8 years
Haha, jinx! We were just talking about that over in Citizen 4.0.
javsmav javsmav 8 years
American Idiot was 5 years ago. Successful or not, it's not as good as 1990s Green Day IMO.
Beauty Beauty 8 years
This is one of the many reasons I do not shop at Wal-Mart.
Quindora Quindora 8 years
I agree with you CaterpillarGirl.
mondaymoos mondaymoos 8 years
Lol. You're calling people buying CDs quaint, but weren't even aware that Green Day's last album a few years ago was massively successful and this one is expected to be the same. Nice.
javsmav javsmav 8 years
There are many things about Wal-Mart that bother me and ways that I think they do abuse corporate power, but this is not one of them. I did learn two things from the post though (1) people buy CDs (how quaint) and (2) Green day is still together?!?!
Ac2366 Ac2366 8 years
No, they shouldn't edit their album for Walmart.
Jinx Jinx 8 years
I don't think Walmart should be able to do this, but if they insist, at least be consistent. I agree it doesn't make sense to refuse Greenday but allow games such as Grand Theft Auto.
Kimpossible Kimpossible 8 years
I don't think it's Walmarts job to censor anything. choosing not to carry it in their store is different and they have every right to do that. But to tell an artist to change their album just so it can be in their store is inappropriate imo. And I agree, they should really be more consistent with thier "morals" If you're not going to carry a Green Day cd because of it's lyrics perhaps Walmart should recheck their inventory of movies, video games, books and magazines as well.
bengalspice bengalspice 8 years
if I were Green Day ... I would tell Walmart to suck it ... besides, diehard fans are not going to care about Walmart when they can get it online, iTunes store, and tons of other chain stores that will carry it.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
If wal mart wants to censor what artist it carries due to language, then fine, But censor other forms of media as well like selling grand theft auto for Playstation for language and extreme sexual content or Call of Duty for extreme violence.
imLissy imLissy 8 years
i think there are enough alternatives to walmart for music that it doesn't really matter
mamasitamalita mamasitamalita 8 years
I think both parties are completely in the right. if Wal-Mart doesn't want to sell albums with profanity, that is totally their right. if Green Day doesn't want to change their lyrics, that is totally their right. I don't think Green Day fears a huge drop in sales if they're not carried at Wal-Mart, and I don't think Wal-Mart will lose customers for sticking to its corporate values. now if we can talk about the OTHER screwed up corporate "values" of Wal-Mart..... ok, that's a new post :)
Pistil Pistil 8 years
I buy CDs, I'm old school :) But I have never bought music at Wal-mart (they have an extremely poor selection, I wonder why? :OY:). I always have to go to HMV or shop online. There are alternatives to Wal-mart, so the only one missing out is Wal-mart. Weird... you'd think they'd changed their tune knowing they'd profit from it
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