Historically Dumb Censorship: Wal-Mart's Refusal To Sell Jill Sobule's Album Due To Prozac Pill

from the promoting-drug-usage dept

Singer Jill Sobule recently discussed a story from back in 1997, when Wal-Mart refused to carry the album she released that year -- because of the cover art. I'll let Jill tell the story:
When I was about to release my 2nd Atlantic record, "Happy Town", I was alerted that Wal-Mart was refusing to carry the CD. They told the label that the broken capsule depicted on the cover was somehow celebrating illegal drug use. Never mind that the drug in question was Prozac (with the familiar mint green and Mercedes cream/yellow colors) but that Wal-Mart itself is one of the big dealers. What made it even more silly, was they thought the granules pouring out looked like cocaine. That never crossed my mind. It made me wonder what kind of hopped-up druggies Wal-Mart was employing.

I decided, rather than dismiss a whole segment of society that would probably not buy my record anyway, I would...wimp out. I replaced the capsule with a test tube -big deal. Somehow, this made them happy and the "cocaine" stayed.
The reason she brought this up now, is because the photo above is an exhibit at the Newseum in Washington DC, showing examples of "dumb censorship."

Filed Under: censorship, jill sobule
Companies: wal-mart

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  1. identicon
    JC, 6 Oct 2010 @ 7:37am

    Re: Re: They both got want they wanted

    Walmart doesn't care if they carry it or not. No one forces the artist to change anything. If the artist can't handle the pressure, well too bad for them.

    You're not deprived of the artist's work because it is available in many other places.

    I may be mistaken, but Walmart has a set of standards which they seem to enforce universally amongst the brands they carry. Everyone knows this going in. I may not agree with their standards, but they are certainly within their rights to only carry things they want their customers to see.

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