“Target has offered products celebrating Pride Month for years, generally without much pushback. Indeed, Target’s CEO, Brian Cornell, said on a podcast in mid-May that the company’s focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion “has fueled much of our growth over the last nine years.” This year, however, some people on the right began to seize on Target’s fairly par-for-the-course Pride marketing efforts to encourage a boycott of the retailer. Some made scenes in stores.
Much of the controversy appeared to center around misinformation that Target was selling “tuck-friendly” bathing suits for kids. As the Associated Press points out, they were only available in adult sizes.
Some conservatives were angered by Target’s partnership with Abprallen, a UK brand that they believe is associated with Satanist designs. Conservative media outlet the Washington Examiner posted about Abprallen, which is “headed by a self-proclaimed gay, transgender man,” offering sweatshirts that read “cure transphobia not trans people” and a tote bag that says “too queer for here.” It also points to a design on the brand’s Instagram that says, “Satan respects pronouns.” (Rolling Stone points out that while some of Abprallen’s designs do feature horns and pentagrams, none of that was on sale at Target. The designer behind the brand, Erik Carnell, also told the outlet he was getting death threats.)”