Why are people boycotting Target? | Netizens react
Netizens are boycotting Target | Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The removal of some LGBTQ+-related products from Target shops on Tuesday has sparked outrage among LGBTQ+ activists and allies. This resulted from threats to “team members’ sense of safety.” Following this backlash and the trending Boycott Target, the store has decided to reduce the selection of Pride-related merchandise.

It also eliminated the most contentious items and relocated the displays to a more compact area in the store’s back. This took place after weeks of angry customer confrontations, attacks on Pride displays, and growing efforts by some prominent conservative commentators to organize a boycott. The activists and allies claim that the retailer is caving to conservative pressure.

Due to this boycott, Target lost a lot of customers

Target lost customers due to the recent boycott
Target lost customers due to the recent boycott | Image Courtesy of Target’s Official Website

Target justified the move by pointing out the violence its employees have been subjected to since the launch of its 2023 Pride Collection in May. This features items like “tuck-friendly” beach suits and party supplies. A spokeswoman informed the Wall Street Journal of customers yelling at employees and tearing down Pride signs. They can also be seen threatening the business online, and all this impacts the choice.

  • However, the company’s choice, according to queer activists, raises more general concerns about corporate responsibility when it comes to assisting marginalized communities.

#BoycottTarget became a trending topic on Twitter on May 17. This happened after certain videos were published by several Twitter accounts. The videos show children’s products with affirming LGBTQ+ messages. The store can also be seen utilizing symbols like “the Rainbow Flag, which is widely used as a positive representation of the LGBTQ+ community,” according to Time Magazine. 

“Anti-LGBTQ violence and hate should not be winning in America, but it will continue until corporate leaders step up as heroes for their LGBTQ employees and consumers and do not cave to fringe activists calling for censorship,” GLAAD’s President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis, said this in a statement.

The statement adds, “The fact that a small group of extremists are threatening disgusting and harsh violence in response to Target continuing its long-standing tradition of offering products for everyone should be a wake-up call for consumers and is a reminder that LGBTQ people, venues, and events are being attacked with threats and violence like never before.”

Netizens’ reactions

Boycotting Target pride month collection
Target faces backlash for including LGBT+ clothes | Image Courtesy of Target’s Official Website

This incident has sparked outrage all over social media. People have taken to Twitter to express their feelings regarding this. The application was full of mixed reactions from the netizens.


Other brands that have faced similar kinds of backlash

LGBT+ merchandise in Target
LGBT+ merchandise in Target (Image via Associated Press)

Target is not the only one to face this backlash. Recently, Bud and Disney met similar forms of backlash.

  • A relatively minor marketing for Anheuser-Busch (BUD) resulted in some of its core consumers deciding to boycott the company. The Dylan Mulvaney advertisement may have only taken up a small portion of the company’s marketing budget. However, it served as a political weapon for conservatives trying to accuse corporations of being “woke” and promoting political causes.
  • On the other hand, DeSantis publicly retaliated against Disney in an instance by handing control of the special district over to his political allies. Both parties filed several lawsuits as a result. Disney CEO Bob Iger publicly questioned if DeSantis wanted his state to receive the $17 billion Disney planned to invest in new projects over the following ten years. All because Disney was apparently promoting the “woke” concept.

The list of businesses being pursued by right-wing activists for supporting causes that don’t align with their political agenda now includes Target (TGT).

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Bias Sinha is a Writer at Spiel Times. She is an introvert who is currently pursuing her Bachelors in Education. Moreover, she used to work as a freelance content writer. She is interested in books, old movies, and K-dramas. In her leisure time, she likes to read, make DIY crafts, create scrapbooks, watch series and spend time with her fur baby. Furthermore, she is also writing her own book.