The photo, taken by Andrew LaVerdiere and posted on his Facebook page, has caused an uproar on social media. The scene occurred outside the Walmart store in Brunswick, Maine, and has naturally spurred some strong, divisive reactions.
At the time of this article the photo has been shared over 65,000 times in less than two days time.
Many people are voicing their support for the seated man (John Paul Stevens) asking for help, whose sign reads “HOMELESS HUNGRY ANYTHING HELPS,” while many others have taken the side of the man holding the “Walmart Hiring” sign.
The problem with this photo is the fact that the man holding the sign is not an employee of Walmart at all.
“The person in the photo is not a store associate,” said Walmart spokesperson Betsy Harden from company headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas. “We’re looking into the situation, looking into how the guy got the sign.”
The fact that the photo is depicting that getting a job is as simple as walking into Walmart, getting hired and starting work is a tad far fetched. However, controversy is brewing because John Paul Stevens has been panhandling for many years and is a registered sex offender in the state of Maine.
We dug up a local Maine blog post a while back that has some not-so-nice comments in regards to Stevens. You can view it here.
They say pictures speak a thousand words and this one certainly speaks more than that.
Here are some of the comments that were posted under the original post on Andrew LaVerdiere Facebook Page.