The retail chain Target is removing some of the most controversial items from its LGBTQ Pride Collection range after a major online backlash that the company claimed had to led threats and confrontations between employees and customers across the country.
While numerous products from the Pride Collection are currently undergoing review, those that have already been removed originated were produced Abprallen, a London-based firm that creates and distributes LGBT-themed apparel and accessories with an occult and satanic aesthetic. The merchandise often features pentagrams, horned skulls, and other images associated with Satanism.
The spokesperson explained:
For more than a decade, Target has offered an assortment of products aimed at celebrating Pride Month. Since introducing this year’s collection, we’ve experienced threats impacting our team members’ sense of safety and wellbeing while 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 significant confrontational behavior. Our focus now is on moving forward with our continuing commitment to the LGBTQIA+ community and standing with them as we celebrate Pride Month and throughout the year.
However, the company has also come under major criticism for trying to sexualize young children with LGBT-type accessories, specifically a series of books designed for children between the ages of two and eight titled Pride 1, 2, 3, I’m Not A Girl, and Bye Bye, Binary.
The Pride Collection is said to feature as many as 2,000 separate products. These include mugs labeled “gender fluid,” calendars with the tagline “queer all year,” and a women’s swimsuit labeled as “tuck friendly,” designed for trans women who have not undergone gender reassignment surgery to conceal their genitalia, also attracted significant criticism.
— Ben Kew 🏌️♂️ (@ben_kew) May 22, 2023
The backlash and subsequent reversal represent another victory for conservative activists, many of whom have urged their followers to boycott brands associating with transgenderism and promoting the sexualization of young children.
The beer brand Bud Light and its parent company Anheuser-Busch continue to suffer from the fallout over its collaboration with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney. In response, the company plans to triple its marketing expenditure in the U.S. this summer, aiming to recover the sales drop experienced following the partnership. This includes paying delivery drivers a $500 bonus as compensation for the difficulties they have faced.
“The situation impacts really the front-line workers more than anybody else,” said Anheuser-Busch CEO Michel Doukeris. “Think about the truck drivers, the delivery people, the sales reps, merchandisers. Those are people that are the fabric of our business. They are family and neighbors.’ Our number-one priority during this entire situation was the safety of our people.”
Doukeris also sought to clarify the advertisement was not part of any official company advertising campaign. “We need to clarify the facts that this was one camp, one influencer, one post and not a campaign,” he said. “We will continue to learn, meet the moment in time, all be stronger and we work tirelessly to do what we do best: Bring people together over a beer and creating a future of more cheers.”