According to Fox Business, Target shares dropped 2.7 percent on Wednesday shortly after the company announced it was removing some products and making adjustments to its LGBTQ+ store merchandise displays. Overall, shares have dropped more than nine percent for the month, with six percent of that decline experienced this week alone. This amounts to $4.2 billion in market value.
The dustup began when Target launched an assortment of products to celebrate Pride Month including adult “tuck friendly” bathing suits for men who are dressing as women, “Queer Eye” tanks and "Queers Cheers" pint glasses. The children’s collection includes rainbow inspired clothing and books such as “Bye Bye Binary” and “Mama and Mommy and Me in the Middle.”
Many of the items in this year’s collection are designed by members of the LGBTQ+ community, such as TombyX, Ash & Chess, and Humberto Cruz. A UK designer named Eric (Erik) Carnell, a London-based transgender whose brand known as Abprallen, has been particularly controversial due to the satanic themes of its merchandise. For example, the company designs shirts and accessories that read, “Satan Respects Pronouns” and apparel that sports pentagrams, horned skulls and messages in praise of Satan. Although Target only carried three of Abprallen’s products – a fanny pack that says “We Belong Everywhere,” a tote that says “Too Queer for Here,” and a sweatshirt that says “Cure Transphobia, Not Tans People – consumers were even more incensed that Target would do business with a company that promotes Satanism.
Carnell makes no apologies for his beliefs and wrote on his Instagram account: “Satan loves you and respects who you are; you’re important and valuable in this world and you deserve to treat yourself with love and respect. LGBT+ people are so often referred to as being a product of Satan or going against God’s will, so fine. We’ll hang with Satan instead.”
He insists that satanists don’t actually believe in Satan and claims that the devil “is merely used as a symbol of passion, pride, and liberty. He means to you what you need him to mean. So for me, Satan is hope, compassion, equality, and love.”
He went on to brag about a new design featuring Baphomet, “a deity who themself is a mixture of genders, beings, ideas, and existences. They reject binary stereotypes and expectations. Perfect.”
Target’s marketing team might have done a better job of “reading the room” after Bud Light’s disastrous association with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney and chosen not to dive headfirst into a relationship with a transgender who promotes Satan. Common sense obviously did not prevail and, as a result of their ham-fisted approach, an immediate backlash was sparked. Target executives were forced to move their Pride month merchandise to the back of the stores in some US markets. When that didn’t calm the uproar, they pulled certain merchandise, including all three of Carnell’s products, none of which are currently appearing on their website.
"For more than a decade, Target has offered an assortment of products aimed at celebrating Pride Month," a Target spokesperson told Fox News Digital. "Since introducing this year’s collection, we've experienced threats impacting our team members’ sense of safety and well-being 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."
Carnell is equally unrepentant and attacked Christians who he claimed sent him hateful emails.
“Its odd that so many Christians have sent me death threats, and detailed description of violence they would enact on me, or on the suffering they hope I would experience,” he said on his Instagram account. He went on to say that he has “no intention to stop” what he’s doing.
As of this writing, Carnell’s website has been “temporarily closed,” allegedly to allow him to “catch up on all of your orders.”
As for Target, it’s shares continue to plummet.
Looks like they're both finding out the hard way that making deals with the devil never ends well.
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