Target is removing certain LGBTQ+ merchandise from stores ahead of Pride month after getting backlash over some items and threats aimed at employees, company officials said Tuesday.
“Since introducing this year’s collection, we’ve experienced threats impacting our team members’ sense of safety and well-being while at work,” Target said in a statement Tuesday.
“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.”
The announcement comes after a call was placed Friday to certain stores located in the South telling managers to move the Pride clothing and accessories display from the front of the store to the back, according to Reuters.
Target is offering more than 2,000 products, including clothing, books, music and home furnishings as part of its Pride Collection, according to the company. The items include “gender fluid” mugs, “queer all year” calendars and books for children aged 2-8 titled “Bye Bye, Binary,” “Pride 1,2,3″ and “I’m not a girl.”
Target declined to say which items it would be removing, The Associated Press reported that among the items getting the most attention were “tuck-friendly” women’s swimsuits. The suits allow trans women who have not had gender-affirming surgery to conceal their private parts.
Customers have also pushed back on certain designs by Abprallen, a London-based company that designs and sells occult- and satanic-themed LGBTQ+ clothing and accessories.
Some of the clothing and accessories from Abprallen carry slogans such as “Satan respects pronouns,” and “Time’s Up For Transphobes.”
Target has carried Pride Month merchandise for the past 10 years. The retailer launched this year’s Pride Month merchandise in early May. Pride Month is celebrated in June.