Target announced it will remove some of its LGBTQ+ merchandise from its Pride Month collection after threats and backlash from customers, making the corporation just one of several recent examples of prominent companies caving to right wing attacks on the LGBTQ+ community.
The mega retailer has offered products celebrating Pride Month for more than a decade, but according to company spokeswoman Kayla Castañeda stores have experienced an uptick in threats against staff safety over this year’s collection.
“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,” Castañeda said in a statement.
The company did not specify which items were being removed or immediately provide more details about the threats, but the confrontations have reportedly centered on Target’s swimwear line, which includes options for trans women.
“CEO of Target Brian Cornell selling out the LGBTQ+ community to extremists,” California Gov. Gavin Newsom tweeted in response to Target’s announcement, calling the decision “a systematic attack on the gay community.”
Target’s backsliding comes just a week after the Los Angeles Dodgers announced the team would no longer honor an LGBTQ advocacy group, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, with a community service award, citing “the strong feelings of people who have been offended” by them. The group describes itself as “a leading-edge order of queer and trans nuns,” and advocates for sexual tolerance.
The Dodgers’ decision came shortly after the Catholic League and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) accused the group of mocking nuns and Christianity.
But the disinvitation sparked backlash from LGBTQ+ groups around the country, leading some prominent groups to pull out of the annual Pride Night.
Almost a week later, the Dodgers said the Sisters will again be welcome at the team’s annual Pride Night.
And in April, Bud Light beer found itself at the center of right-wing media outrage and experienced a drop in sales after right-wingers called for a boycott of the company over its partnership with transgender actress and comedian Dylan Mulvaney.