Target has removed a range of controversial LGBT-themed children's products from all of its U.S. stores and its website after calls to boycott the retailer spread on social media.
“Since introducing this year’s collection, we’ve experienced threats impacting our team members’ sense of safety and wellbeing while at work,” a statement from Target reads. “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."Products for infants, including onesies with pro-LGBT slogans and content, were part of the collection. One onesie includes the text “Bien Proud,” and another features what appear to be LGBT rainbows and hearts along with the transgender flag colors.
Target spokeswoman Kayla Castaneda said the company has been actively celebrating Pride month for more than 10 years. However, this year has seen an escalation in "confrontational behavior" by customers who've taken actions such as throwing some LGBT products onto the floor.
Target's recent decision to remove certain products from its stores and website comes shortly after the beer brand Bud Light saw its sales plummet after featuring transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney in a social media campaign in April.
Castaneda clarified that the withdrawn products will be taken off shelves and removed from all Target stores across the United States and from the company's website.
Calls to BoycottAfter the LGBT-themed products from Target gained attention on social media, conservative influencers began to call for a boycott, reminiscent of the recent Bud Light controversy.
Candace Owens, a conservative commentator, said of the company, "Target has been an openly perverted company for a long time—many million times worse than Bud Light and worthy of being boycott out of existence."
She previously urged "all people with a moral conscience" not to shop at Target, saying it's the most "pro-transgenderism" company.
Conservative commentator Steven Crowder simply stated, "Boycott Target."
Broadcaster Megyn Kelly expressed concern about children being exposed to such products at Target, saying, “We don’t need our kids seeing this [expletive] when we walk down the aisle at Target.”
Among the alleged children's products that stirred controversy was a line of female swimsuits that featured a "tuck-friendly" label, indicating that it would have enough fabric to cover male genitals, according to videos posted online from inside a Target location.
“Did you know @Target also sells ‘tuck-friendly’ bathing suits for children in the Pride section? Well, now you do,” reads one social media post.
“The ‘tuck-friendly’ swim suits are for adults only,” the spokesperson said.
Daily Wire commentator Matt Walsh said he found the controversy more egregious than Bud Light's partnering with Mulvaney.
"What Target is doing is far worse than anything Bud Light did,” he said. “They are selling chest binders and ‘tuck-friendly’ bathing suits for children.”
Last week, Target CEO Brian Cornell defended "woke" companies on Fortune’s “Leadership Next” podcast.
“I think those are just good business decisions, and it’s the right thing for society, and it’s a great thing for our brand,” he said.
“The things we’ve done from a [diversity, equity, and inclusion] standpoint, it’s adding value,” Cornell said, referring to left-wing training materials. “It’s helping us drive sales, it’s building greater engagement with both our teams and our guests, and those are just the right things for our business today.”
“When we think about purpose at Target, it’s really about helping all the families, and that ‘all’ word is really important,” Cornell added. He also said that the focus on diversity and inclusion and equity has fueled much of the company's growth over the past nine years.