Target’s removal of Pride goods from its shelves has had a significant financial impact, costing the company nearly $13 billion in market capitalization.
In response, over 200 LGBTQ groups have come together to demand that Target denounce extremists and restore the Pride products. Prominent organizations like Human Rights Campaign, GLAAD, and GLSEN, along with numerous progressive and LGBTQ organizations, issued a joint statement urging companies like Target and Anheuser-Busch to reject and speak out against anti-LGBTQ+ extremism ahead of Pride Month. They emphasized that supporting the LGBTQ+ community is not only the right thing to do but also beneficial for business.
The coalition of groups outlined their demands, which include Target reaffirming its commitment to the LGBTQ+ community within 24 hours, restocking all Pride goods in stores, and ensuring the safety of Target staff.
According to the LGBTQ coalition, neutrality is not an option when it comes to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion. They made it clear that they would continue to support Target and other companies that stand against customer complaints and anti-LGBTQ+ campaigns.
In a joint statement, the LGBTQ+ organizations expressed their belief that with their support, “Target, and all businesses, can navigate this hate.” They vowed to send a strong message to extremists that fear will not prevail, just as it hasn’t in past failed anti-LGBTQ+ campaigns.
Target traditionally sells LGBTQ-themed clothing in the months leading up to June, but this year, the company faced backlash when customers noticed transgender-friendly swimwear and Pride attire for children and infants. In response to negative feedback, Target reduced the visibility of some Pride goods and removed others from shelves, citing concerns for staff safety.
The decision sparked outrage among liberals and LGBTQ organizations, who accused Target of caving to violent political extremists and betraying the LGBTQ community. Designers who had collaborated with the company also expressed frustration, feeling abandoned by Target in the face of criticism.
Erik Carnell, a designer from the Abprallen brand, condemned the precedent set by Target, stating, “It’s a very dangerous precedent to set, that if people just get riled up enough about the products that you’re selling, you can completely distance yourself from the LGBT community, when and if it’s convenient.”
Another designer from the Pride collection mentioned that Target had removed the majority of their line due to threats from domestic terrorists.
Target has issued only one public comment regarding the scandal to date. The company acknowledged the concerns and threats to staff safety, stating that they made changes to their plans in response. In a press release on May 24th, Target emphasized its continuing commitment to the LGBTQIA+ community and its support throughout Pride Month and the entire year.
Target CEO Brian Cornell followed up with an open letter to staff, further explaining the company’s decision and expressing unwavering support for the LGBTQ community.
When contacted by Fox News Digital for comment, Target remained silent, declining to provide a response.