Target is widely regarded as a great place to work, but current and former employees say there’s more to the story
Target has announced that it will pull some of its Pride Month collection from stores.
It said its workers faced threats and violent confrontations with angry customers.
This year’s collection included “gender fluid” mugs and “queer all year” calendars.
Target says it’s pulling some items from its Pride Month collection this year after its staff received threats from customers.
In a statement to Insider, the retail giant said that since the introduction of the 2023 Pride collection at the start of May, it had “experienced threats impacting our team members’ sense of safety and wellbeing while at work.”
A report from the Associated Press said there had been violent confrontations between customers and Target workers over the merchandise.
The statement also said: “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.”
The statement did not specify which items were to be axed. But out of the 2,353-item Pride collection this year, the items that sparked the most controversy from right-wingers were swimsuits advertised as “tuck friendly,” which cater to trans women.
—Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) May 23, 2023
The company also debunked claims on social media that the “tuck friendly” swimwear was marketed for children. Target’s spokesperson told the AP that this feature was only available in swimwear for adults.
The company also drew criticism for partnering with the London-based design company Abprallen. Abprallen was accused by several right-wing influencers — including conservative influencer Oli London — of 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 “too queer for here,” and a sweatshirt that said “cure transphobia, not trans people,” were part of the collection.
Other products offered under the collection were “gender fluid” mugs and “queer all year” calendars.
Some Southern Target outlets have already moved their Pride merch to the back of the stores, per Fox News. An unnamed staffer told Fox News that they were given 36 hours to move all the merch to the back of 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 staffer told Fox News.
Beer brand Bud Light received harsh criticism from conservative groups after it partnered with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney, and people started boycotting the brand.
There has indeed been an outpouring of anti-Target sentiment from the right. The Twitter hashtag #BoycottTarget contained dozens of videos from conservatives raging about the Pride merchandise line.
Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert also tweeted on Monday that Target “won’t be getting another dollar” from her, accusing it of being a “woke” corporation.
Meanwhile, California Gov. Gavin Newsom criticized Target for bowing to pressure from the right wing.
“CEO of Target Brian Cornell selling out the LGBTQ+ community to extremists is a real profile in courage,” Newsom tweeted on Tuesday.
“This doesn’t stop here. You’re black? You’re Asian? You’re Jewish? You’re a woman? You’re next,” Newsom added.
Insider has reached out to Glaad and the American Civil Liberties Union for comment.