HomeBusinessTarget removes some Pride Month products after facing threats

Target removes some Pride Month products after facing threats

Target will remove some of its LGBTQ+ merchandise from its Pride Month collection after facing backlash that threatened the safety of its workers, the company said.

The company’s website features hundreds of colorful Pride products, including rainbow shirts for men, pint glasses embellished with “Cheers Queers” and a children’s book about pronouns, among others.

Target, one of the largest American general-merchandise retailers that operates more than 1,900 stores nationwide, said it has offered products celebrating Pride Month, typically in June, for more than a decade. But this year’s collection led to threats imperiling the safety of its staff, company spokeswoman Kayla Castañeda said in a statement.

“Given these volatile circumstances, we are making adjustments to our plans, including removing items that have been at the center of the most significant confrontational behavior,” she said.

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The company did not specify which items were being removed, but misinformation in recent days has centered on its children’s bathing suits that were falsely labeled as “tuck-friendly” by prominent conservative groups and media outlets. The tuck-friendly swimming suits were only for adults, the Associated Press reported. Tuck-friendly swimwear offers extra coverage to allow trans women without gender-affirming operations to conceal their genitalia.

Some conservatives have also called for a boycott of Target over its partnership with the U.K.-based brand Abprallen, which they claim features Satanist designs. Some of the Abprallen pieces that Target was selling include a sweatshirt featuring an image of a snake with the line, “Cure transphobia, not trans people,” as well as a messenger bag that reads, “We belong everywhere.”

An earlier Instagram post from the designer, flagged by conservative media groups, reads: “Satan respects pronouns.” The caption explains that Satanists do not believe in Satan but invoke Satan as a symbol of passion and pride.

The contested products will be removed from all of Target’s U.S. stores and its website, Reuters reported, adding that while other items were under review, only Abprallen merchandise had been removed.

“Being true to yourself and your community is something to celebrate, all year long,” the Pride section on the company’s website says, inviting customers to post their Target finds with the hashtag #TakePride.

On Twitter, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) accused Target chief executive Brian Cornell of “selling out the LGBTQ+ community to extremists.” Target’s decision, Newsom added, “is a systematic attack on the gay community happening across the country,” which he warned does not stop at Pride merchandise.

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In April, Bud Light beer faced similar backlash and a drop in sales following calls for a boycott from Republicans over its partnership with transgender actress and comedian Dylan Mulvaney, forcing the company’s CEO to issue a note.

“We never intended to be part of a discussion that divides people. We are in the business of bringing people together over a beer,” Brendan Whitworth wrote at the time in an open letter on the company’s Twitter account.

While trans issues have taken center stage in the culture wars upending U.S. politics, conservatives have also targeted companies over other hot-button issues, including abortion and gun control.

When Walgreens this year announced its intention to dispense abortion medication in its retail stores, Republican attorneys general banded together to threaten legal action, prompting the company to rescind its decision in red states.

In March, Visa and Mastercard put on hold a decision to categorize purchases at gun stores after a similar move by Republican-controlled states.

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