(CNSNews.com) -- In a move being largely credited to the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE), retail giant Walmart is removing Cosmopolitan magazine from its checkout aisles in its more than 5,000 stores. However, Walmart stores will still carry the publication in their magazine sections.
"Walmart is using its platform to take a stand against sexual exploitation, by instituting a broad sweep of all Walmart stores, removing Cosmopolitan Magazine from each and every checkout aisle," said the NCOSE on its website. "This unprecedented effort will impact more than 5,000 stores across our nation."
"That’s over 5,000 stores where families and individuals will no longer be automatically exposed to Cosmo’s hypersexualized and degrading article titles that regularly promote pornography, sexting, BDSM, group sex, anal sex, and more, all while marketing toward young teens with Disney star cover models," said the pro-family, anti-pornography organization.
"We at the National Center on Sexual Exploitation have been working behind the scenes with Walmart for months regarding this policy improvement, and applaud Walmart for making their checkout aisles family-friendly and sexploitation-free," said the NCOSE.
Walmart, in a statement, said, "Walmart will continue to offer Cosmopolitan to customers that wish to purchase the magazine, but it will no longer be in the checkout aisles. While this was primarily a business decision, the concerns raised were heard."
Dawn Hawkins, executive director of the NCOSE, said in a press release, “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.”
“Cosmo sends the same messages about female sexuality as Playboy," said Hawkins. "It places women’s value primarily on their ability to sexually satisfy a man and therefore plays into the same culture where men view and treat women as inanimate sex objects."
"Further, Cosmo targets young girls by placing former Disney stars on its covers, despite the enclosed sexually erotic articles which describe risky sexual acts like public, intoxicated, or anal sex in detail," she said. "Customers should not be forced to be exposed to this content when they are trying to check-out at the store.”
Hawkins continued, “Walmart’s removal of Cosmo from checkout lines is an incremental but significant step toward creating a culture where women and girls are valued as whole persons, rather than as sexual objects. We are grateful for Walmart’s cooperation and for Walmart leadership’s recognition that corporations must do their part to change #MeToo culture.”
“Walmart’s decision makes it a leader and trailblazer in corporate responsibility," said Hawkins.
The Guardian reported that Victoria Hearst, of the media family that owns Cosmopolitan, has been working with the NCOSE. Miss Hearst told the New York Post in 2015, "God told me to work to get Cosmo out of the hands of children, so that's what I am doing."
She also described the magazine as "pornography." She insisted, however, that the magazine should be published but it should include "a warning label like an X-rated movie or video game."
When asked about Heart's objections concerning Cosmopolitan, the then-editor-in-chief, Joanna Coles, said, “I have no time for a debate. I am too busy putting out a magazine and encouraging American women to have more and better orgasms.”