Target has withdrawn an array of contentious LGBT-themed children’s products from its entire U.S. outlets and online platform following a social media-led call for a boycott of the retailer. This decision was prompted by an uproar in some stores and concerns for the safety of its employees. The contentious line included infant items such as onesies adorned with pro-LGBT slogans and content, as well as a collection of child-focused LGBT books like “Bye Bye, Binary” and “What Are Your Words?”—literature aimed at teaching children about transgender pronouns. Other items appeared to showcase drag queens.
The company’s spokesperson, Kayla Castaneda, affirmed Target’s tradition of acknowledging Pride Month for over a decade. However, this year’s celebration was met with an increase in confrontational customer behavior, including incidents where LGBT products were tossed onto the store floors. The visibility of these LGBT-themed products on social media triggered conservative influencers to initiate a boycott. Commentator Candace Owens urged morally conscious individuals to shop elsewhere, accusing Target of over-emphasizing transgender support. Steven Crowder and Megyn Kelly echoed the boycott sentiments, with Kelly raising concerns about children’s exposure to such products. Tomi Lahren lambasted the company for its adoption of a “woke” culture.
A significant point of controversy was a line of girl’s swimsuits labeled as “tuck-friendly,” hinting at ample fabric to conceal male genitalia. These swimsuits were alleged to be marketed towards children in Target’s Pride section. This issue was highlighted by Daily Wire commentator Matt Walsh, who deemed it more scandalous than Bud Light’s collaboration with Mulvaney.
Target CEO Brian Cornell, during an appearance on Fortune’s “Leadership Next” podcast, defended businesses embracing a “woke” culture. Cornell credited Target’s concentration on “diversity and inclusion and equity” for much of their growth over the past nine years.