Aims to rip off some Pride merchandise after workers receive threats

Target is widely regarded as a great place to work, but current and former employees say there̵[ads1]7;s more to the story
Associated Press

  • Target has announced that it will be pulling some of its Pride Month collection from stores.
  • It said the workers were met with threats and violent confrontations with angry customers.
  • This year’s collection included “gender fluid” mugs and “queer all year round” calendars.

Target says it is pulling some items from its Pride Month collection this year after its employees received threats from customers.

In a statement to Insider, the retail giant said that since the introduction of the 2023 Pride collection in early May, it had “experienced threats that affected team members’ sense of safety and well-being while at work.”

An Associated Press report said there had been violent confrontations between customers and Target workers over the items.

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

The statement did not specify which items were to be removed. But out of the 2,353-item Pride collection this year, the items that sparked the most controversy were far-right swimsuits advertised as “tuck friendly,” which cater to trans women.

The company also declined claims on social media that the “tuck friendly” swimwear was marketed for children. A Target spokesperson told the AP that this feature was only available in adult swimwear.

The company also drew criticism for collaborating with London-based design company Abprallen. Abprallen was prosecuted by more right-wing influencers – including conservative influencer Oli London – for being “satanic” because of a pin it produces that says: “Satan loves pronouns.”

While the pins were not part of Target’s Pride collection, Abprallen’s tote bag, which said “for queer for here,” and a sweater that said “cure transphobia, not trans people” were part of the collection.

Other products offered during the collection were “gender fluid” mugs and “queer all year round” calendars.

Some Southern Target outlets have already moved their Pride merchandise to the back of their stores, according to Fox News. An unnamed employee told Fox News that they were given 36 hours to move all merchandise to the back of the stores and were prohibited from displaying the products on mannequins.

“I think given the current situation with Bud Light, the company is terrified of a Bud Light situation,” the employee told Fox News.

Beer brand Bud Light came under fire from conservative groups after it partnered with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney, and people began boycotting the brand.

There has indeed been an outpouring of anti-Target sentiment from the right. The Twitter hashtag #BoycottTarget featured dozens of videos from conservatives raging about the Pride merchandise line.

Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert too tweeted on Monday that Target “won’t get another dollar” from her, accusing it of being a “woke” company.

Meanwhile, California Governor Gavin Newsom criticized Target for bowing to right-wing pressure.

“Target CEO Brian Cornell selling out the LGBTQ+ community to extremists is a true profile in courage,” Newsom tweeted on Tuesday.

“This doesn’t stop here. You’re black? You’re Asian? You’re Jewish? You’re female? You’re next,” Newsom added.

Insider has contacted Glaad and the American Civil Liberties Union for comment.

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