Target confirms ‘adjustments’ to Pride plans after LGBTQ merchandise causes ‘threats’ to employees
FIRST ON FOX – Target has confirmed that “adjustments” to Pride’s merchandising plans are underway after Fox News Digital learned it had canceled displays at some of its locations.
“For more than a decade, Target has offered an assortment of products aimed at celebrating Pride Month. Since launching this year’s collection, we have experienced threats that have impacted feelings of safety and well-being of our team members at work. Given these volatile circumstances, we are making adjustments to our plans, including removing items that have been at the center of the most confrontational behavior. Our goal now is to moving forward with our continued commitment to the LGBTQIA+ community and standing by them as we celebrate Pride Month and throughout the year,” a Target spokesperson told Fox News Digital .
Earlier Tuesday, Fox News Digital first reported that some southern Target stores were forced by the company to move LGBTQ Pride merchandise away from the front of their stores after customers “outraged” to avoid a “Budlight status”.
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Target Pride merchandise includes women’s style swimwear that can be used to “bend” male genitalia, products labeled as “Carefully tailored to multiple body types and gender expressions”, a “Gender Fluid” mug , a variety of adult clothing with slogans such as “Super Queer”, party supplies, home decor, several books, and a “Grow At Your Own Pace” saucer.
Critics are particularly angered by Target Pride merchandise for kids, which includes onesies and rompers for newborns and other clothes for kids of all ages.
Although many stores have made “adjustments,” Pride merchandise remains prominently displayed at other Target stores across America and on Target’s website.
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A Target insider told Fox News Digital that many locations, mostly in rural Southern areas, have moved Pride sections to avoid the kind of backlash Bud Light has received in recent weeks after using a transgender influencer in a promotional campaign.
A Target insider said there were “emergency” calls Friday and some officials and senior district managers were ordered to remove Pride sections immediately. They had 36 hours to make the changes.
“We call our customers ‘guests,’ there’s outrage from them. This year is just exponentially more than any other year,” the Target insider said. “I think given the current situation with Bud Light, the company is terrified of a Bud Light situation.”
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The insider said the “emergency” calls started with about 10 minutes on “how to manage team member security” and included the Target Asset Protect & Corporate Security teams due to the amount of backlash generated. by Pride merchandise. After the safety guidelines were completed, Target bosses were quick to urge officials to make changes to Pride displays.
“Everyone was like, ‘Thank God,’ because we’re all on the front lines dealing with it,” the insider said.
Fox News Digital has confirmed that rural Target stores in South Carolina, Arkansas and Georgia are among the places to move Pride sections. Most rank-and-file employees were left in the dark, with many unaware that Pride Sections would be moved until they noticed it themselves.
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Joseph A. Wulfsohn of Fox News contributed to this report.