Walmart to remove Cosmopolitan magazine from checkout lines

Fans of Cosmopolitan will now have a harder time finding the magazine at Walmart.

The retail giant will be pulling the publication from checkout lines at 5,000 stores across the U.S., the National Center on Sexual Exploitation announced in a news release Tuesday. The organization cited the sexually explicit material — some deemed "pornographic" — published in the magazine amid the #MeToo culture as a reason for the removal.

“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 at the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, said in the news release.

“Women, men, and children are bombarded daily with sexually objectifying and explicit materials, not only online, but in the checkout line at the store,” Hawkins continued.

Hawkins equated Cosmopolitan’s messages to that found in Playboy magazine. She said the popular women’s magazine targets young women by placing Disney stars on the cover while publishing “sexually erotic articles.”  

“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,” she added.

Walmart said in a statement to Fox News that they heard the concerns people had about the magazine. 

“As with all products in our store, we continue to evaluate our assortment and make changes. 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," the statement read.

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Cosmopolitan lauds itself as the “best-selling young women’s magazine” that focuses on fashion, sex advice, dating and relationships as well as celebrity news.

The organization isn’t the first to criticize Cosmopolitan, a Hearst publication. Victoria Hearst, one of the granddaughters of William Randolph Hearst, helped NCOSE launch the anti-Cosmopolitan campaign. Hearst, who is not involved with Hearst Corporation or its management, said the magazine should carry a warning label because it pushed “pornography” on minors, the New York Post reported in 2015.

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“Nothing spooky here…God told me to work to get Cosmo out of the hands of children, so that’s what I am doing,” Hearst said, according to the Post.

Cosmopolitan’s then-Editor-in-Chief Joanna Coles fired back and said the campaign was “sexist” and a “double standard.”

“I have no time for a debate,” Coles said at the time. “I am too busy putting out a magazine and encouraging American women to have more and better orgasms.”

Katherine Lam is a breaking and trending news digital producer for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter at @bykatherinelam