FIRST ON FOX – Target confirmed “adjustments” to the Pride merchandising plans are underway after Fox News Digital learned it rolled back displays at some of its locations.
“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. 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,” a Target spokesperson told Fox News Digital.
Earlier on Tuesday, Fox News Digital first reported that some southern Target stores were forced by the corporation to move LGBTQ Pride merchandise away from the front of their locations after customer “outrage” to avoid a “Bud Light situation.”
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Target Pride merchandise includes female-style swimsuits that can be used to “tuck” male genitalia, products labeled as “Thoughtfully fit on multiple body types and gender expressions,” a “Gender Fluid” mug, a variety of adult clothing with slogans such as “Super Queer,” party supplies, home decor, multiple books and a “Grow At Your Own Pace” saucer planter.
Critics are particularly peeved about Target Pride merchandise for children, which includes onesies and rompers for newborn babies and along with other apparel for kids of all ages.
While many stores have made “adjustments,” Pride merchandise remains prominently displayed at other Target locations across America and on the Target website.
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A Target insider told Fox News Digital that many locations, mostly in rural areas of the South, have relocated Pride sections to avoid the kind of backlash Bud Light has received in recent weeks after using a transgender influencer in a promotional campaign.
A Target insider said there were “emergency” calls on Friday and that some managers and district senior directors were told to tamp down the Pride sections immediately. They were given 36 hours to make the changes.
“We call our customers ‘guests,’ there is outrage on their part. This year, it is just exponentially more than any other year,” the Target insider said. “I think given the current situation with Bud Light, the company is terrified of a Bud Light situation.”
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The insider said the “emergency” calls began with roughly 10 minutes on “how to deal with team member safety” and included Target Asset Protect & Corporate Security teams because of the amount of backlash the Pride merchandise has generated. Once the safety instructions were over, Target honchos quickly urged managers to make changes to Pride displays.
“Everyone was like, ‘Thank God,’ because we’re all on the front lines dealing with it,” the insider said.
Fox News Digital has confirmed rural Target stores in South Carolina, Arkansas and Georgia are among the locations to move the Pride sections. Most rank-and-file employees were left in the dark, with many not knowing the Pride sections would be moved until they noticed it themselves.
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Fox News’ Joseph A. Wulfsohn contributed to this report.