The company prides itself on being an equal opportunity employer and has denounced discrimination, so when an offensive email was sent out to customers, the backlash was swift. Several social media users who are also Walmart customers woke up this morning to an email  from "help@walmart.com" that looked official, but its opening line was, "Welcome to Walmart, N*gger."

Dozens of people took to Twitter to share their experience, and Walmart Canada initially sent out a copy-paste response that told one customer that if she didn't wish to receive emails any longer, she could opt-out. Obviously missing the point of the Twitter user's complaint, the exchange further launched Walmart into more controversy.

Walmart, n-word, racism
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The mega-retail chain finally issued a formal response from Walmart via the company's spokesperson. "We discovered that an external bad actor created false Walmart accounts with obvious intent to offend our customers," the spokesperson said. "We were shocked and appalled to see these offensive and unacceptable emails."

It's unclear just how many customers received the offensive email, but the company reportedly assured online users that their database wasn't hacked and none of their customers' information had been compromised. Walmart is reportedly "looking into all available means to hold those responsible accountable."

Check out a few posts about the controversy below.

[via]