Retail giant Wal-Mart will pay $82 million for violating the Clean Water Act and other environmental regulations, after dumping hazardous materials that included the DVDs, “Gangster Squad,” “Safe Haven,” “Parental Guidance,” “The Guilt Trip” and “Broken City” down the sewer drains of several cities. According to authorities, the unsold and returned DVDs not only backed up local sewer systems, but in some severe cases ended up in the hands of children, who were exposed to terrible filmmaking when they brought them home to watch.
“We couldn’t stop Hollywood from dumping this trash in theaters all over the country, but we can stop Wal-Mart from dumping it down our sewers,” United States Attorney Andrew Birotte Jr. told Hollywood & Swine. “The 300,000 unsold copies of ‘Guilt Trip,’ are the scariest thing to be floating down the sewer since people used to flush their pet alligators down the toilet.”
In addition to cases filed by federal prosecutors in Los Angeles and San Francisco, Wal-Mart also pleaded guilty to separate charges filed in Kansas City, Mo., for improperly handling thousands of DVDs that had been returned by customers.
Government prosecutors contend that Wal-Mart did not have a program in place to train employees how to dispose of terrible DVDs. In some cases, Wal-Mart employees discarded the returned DVDs improperly, either by throwing them into municipal trash bins or pouring them into local sewer systems in California.
“We tried to give all the unsold DVDs to local homeless shelters,” a spokesperson for Wal-Mart said. “Unfortunately, they wouldn’t accept them. We learned just because someone doesn’t have a home, doesn’t mean they don’t have taste in movies.”