Target has removed some of its products after facing customer backlash and employee safety concerns over the retail giant's recently launched Pride Collection.
The Pride Collection, consisting of over 2,000 products ranging from clothing and books to music and home furnishings, aims to celebrate and support the LGBTQ+ community.
However, since the collection's debut in May, the retail giant has witnessed an alarming increase in confrontations between customers and employees and incidents of Pride merchandise being deliberately thrown on the floor.
Let Target know how you feel! Leave the children alone! pic.twitter.com/HB1uRcgnYL— Dr. Dawn Michael (@DawnsMission) May 24, 2023
Shopping at Target is the same as selling your soul to the 👿devil. Trying to hide this Satanic-inspired merchandise isn't enough Target.— 🔴♦️ ULTRA-MAGA Lori 🇺🇸 Patriot♦️🔴 (@LiberatedCit) May 24, 2023
Target Reportedly Moving ‘Pride’ Items to Back of Store to Avoid the Bud Light Treatmenthttps://t.co/mjfNvgpBJK
"Since introducing this year's collection, we've experienced threats impacting our team members' sense of safety and well-being while at work," the company said in a statement.
The Minneapolis-based retailer further emphasized that it was taking necessary measures to protect its employees by adjusting its plans, including removing items that had been at the center of the most significant confrontational behavior.
Target has a long-standing history of supporting Pride Month for over a decade, but this particular collection has incited more controversy than previous ones.
The company's spokesperson, Kayla Castaneda, revealed that removing certain products was made after carefully considering the safety concerns and the volatile circumstances surrounding the confrontations.
The specific products being withdrawn from Target stores nationwide and its website includes the LGBTQ brand Abprallen, which has faced scrutiny due to its association with British designer Eric Carnell, who believes Satan represents "love."
Carnell has faced social media backlash for designing merchandise featuring images of pentagrams, horned skulls, and other Satanic symbols. A search for Abprallen merchandise on Target's website now yields zero results.
While the removal of certain products has been confirmed, Target is currently reviewing other items in the Pride Collection, including transgender swimsuits and children's merchandise. Castaneda clarified that no decisions have been made regarding those products at this time.
In addition to Target's actions, conservative backlash against Bud Light has also emerged recently following the beer brand’s controversial collaboration with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney.
As Target addresses its Pride Collection's safety concerns, the company remains committed to promoting inclusivity and supporting the LGBTQ+ community.
The retail giant continues to review its product offerings and make necessary adjustments to ensure the well-being of its employees and customers.