Kmart is under fire after customers in Australia noticed that certain Christian words were banned from printing at the store’s photo kiosks.
Anthony and Marelynda Dorsett were attempting to have photos printed for their church group when they noticed that words including “God,” “Jesus,” “church,” “Bible,” and “Jewish” were replaced by asterisks in their photos. Reportedly, Kmart’s photo printing software deemed the words as profanity.
Kmart is claiming that the error was from a glitch in the kiosk’s software. According to the Daily Telegraph, Kodak announced the “software issue” affected all Kmart photo kiosks across the country and the issue was resolved by Thursday morning.
Journalists from the Daily Telegraph decided to investigate to supposed glitch to see if words associated with other religions were also banned. According to News.com, the reporters found that words including “Islam,” “Allah” and “Koran” were allowed.
Still, Kmart is asserting that the ban on Christian words was not intentional and was not a targeted attempt to suppress Christian values.
A spokeswoman for the company said in a statement that it was a “system error and it will be updated overnight.”
She continued, “It in no way reflects our views as a business.”
“At Kmart, we support diversity and inclusiveness irrespective of race, religion, age, gender, ethnicity, ability, appearance or attitude and we want our teams and stores to reflect the communities in which we operate,” she added.
Despite this, many people – including Sam Armytage the host of Australia’s morning news show Sunrise – are not buying that it was a glitch.
On Wednesday’s episode, Armytage called Kmart’s response “rubbish.”
“Kmart’s come out this morning and said it’s a technical glitch, rubbish! They have to beg for forgiveness to whichever god they beg to,” the show host quipped while hosting a panel with two other people.
Daisy Cousens from Sky News also condemned Kmart saying blaming it on the software is “a joke” and the word selection highlights a “huge double standard,” the Christian Postreports.
She said, “It’s like it’s a joke. Sure, they’ve blamed it on a software error but isn’t that what you blame everything on when something goes wrong that’s somewhat controversial? This is just unbelievable. It’s such a huge double standard.”