BUSINESS + ECONOMY

Target removes some LGBTQ+ Pride merchandise over threats to employees

May 30, 2023, 9:29 AM | Updated: Jun 22, 2023, 4:45 pm

Pride month merchandise is displayed at the front of a Target store in Hackensack, N.J., Wednesday,...

Pride month merchandise is displayed at the front of a Target store in Hackensack, N.J., Wednesday, May 24, 2023. Target is removing certain items from its stores and making other changes to its LGBTQ+ merchandise nationwide ahead of Pride month after an intense backlash from some customers including violent confrontations with its workers. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

BOSTON (WBZ) — Target has removed some Pride merchandise from its stores after facing backlash and threats, the company said Tuesday.

A company spokesperson did not specify which items were being removed, but Target has faced criticism online over swimsuits being sold in its Pride collection.

“For more than a decade, Target has offered an assortment of products aimed at celebrating Pride Month. Since introducing this year’s collection, we’ve experienced threats impacting our team members’ sense of safety and wellbeing while at work,” a company spokesperson said. “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. Our focus now is on moving forward with our continuing commitment to the LGBTQIA+ community and standing with them as we celebrate Pride Month and throughout the year.”

Some claimed on social media that swimsuits that were labeled as “tuck-friendly” with “extra crotch coverage” were designed for children. The swimsuits with these labels, however, were only available in adult sizes.

A spokesperson for Target told The Associated Press that the children’s swimsuits in the Pride collection have a different design and label, as well.

Some also complained about the swimsuits in the Pride collection in the product reviews on Target’s website, while others in the reviews praised the company for selling inclusive options.

Target is the latest company to face backlash over support for the LGBTQ+ community. Maybelline and Bud Light have faced boycotts over promotions featuring transgender social-media influencer Dylan Mulvaney. Bud Light sales have dwindled in recent weeks.

Related: Pride Week 2022 expected to be the biggest celebration in 30 years

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Target removes some LGBTQ+ Pride merchandise over threats to employees