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Retail giant Kmart has found itself at the centre of a bizarre religious controversy which it blamed on a “software glitch”.
Shoppers were miffed when the company’s photo printing kiosks appeared to ban Christian related words including Jesus, church, Bible and Christian.
When customers tried to caption their photos with such words, they were informed the machine considered them profanities and replaced each letter with asterisks.
Some non-Christian words like “Canadian” were also apparently banned.
Confused shoppers issued a please explain to Kmart but Sunrise host Samantha Armytage wasn’t buying the resulting explanation.
“Kmart has come out this morning and said it was a technical glitch, that is rubbish,” she said on air this morning.
The Daily Telegraph published an “investigation” into the matter on Wednesday and reported that words relating to Islam were not banned.
Shoppers could print photos using the words Islam, Muhammad, Koran and mosque, it pointed out. There was one exception, however, with the word Allah also banned.
Despite suggestions in the media, the retailer insists there is nothing fishy going on and said a software update had been rolled out to its photo printing machines across the country to correct the malfunction.
In a statement to Yahoo News Australia, the company apologised and said an issue with the Kodak software used in the machines was responsible.
“Kmart Australia would like to sincerely apologise for this system error, which Kodak have rectified overnight,” a spokesperson said.
“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.”
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