Candace Owens has joined the chorus of conservative voices calling for a boycott of Target, branding the retailer a “perverted company” over its recently unveiled range of clothing and accessories for LGBTQ+ Pride Month.
In recent days, videos have been shared on social media showing items from the retailer’s collection. One clip showed a T-shirt with the slogan “trans people will always exist” and a babygrow featuring the words “bien proud” in the colors of the LGBTQ+ flag. It also included a rainbow neck pillow, multi-colored fairy lights as well as a trans flag.
There have also been photos that have been shared online of bathing suits sold at Target that include “tuck-friendly” tailoring and “extra crotch coverage” to accommodate a wider customer base.
However, Target’s collection for Pride Month—which takes place every June—has provoked outrage on social media, with calls for the retailer to receive “the Bud Light treatment.”
Beer brand Bud Light has been embroiled in controversy since the beginning of April, after it sent a commemorative can to transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney to celebrate her first year of transitioning to a woman. The move sparked calls for a boycott, and industry data shows sales of Bud Light declined more than 17 percent across the month.
Conservative commentator Owens has added her voice to the army of Target detractors, publicly stating her desire to see the company go out of business.
Reacting this week to a headline regarding “tuck-friendly” swimsuit tailoring, the TV personality wrote on Twitter: “Target has been an openly perverted company for a long time. Many million times worse than Bud Light and worthy of being [boycotted] out of existence.”
The tweet, which quickly went viral, has been viewed more than 425,000 times.
The Candace host also said on the micro-blogging platform: “Conservatives and all people with a moral conscience should never shop at target again.”
Owens was reacting to a headline that quoted Target CEO Brian Cornell as defending the company’s unveiling of “tuck-friendly” swimsuits.
Referencing reports of Target’s dramatic dip in market value in the days since the furor erupted, Owens tweeted: “[$]8.2 billion in one week. This isn’t meant to be temporary. Swear off @Target for life. Their executives are predators. Children have to be our bottom line.”
She rounded out her tweet with the hashtag “#BoycottTarget.”
Kayla Castaneda, a Target spokesperson, said on Tuesday that the retailer will be removing items “at the center of the most significant confrontational behavior” from customers. Staff members at Target stores in parts of the U.S. have faced threats since the debut of the range.
Several brands have been the target of condemnation from conservatives over marketing advocating for the LGBTQ+ community. While experts have said such campaigns provide an opportunity for brands to appeal to consumers in new markets, critics have accused companies of alienating their traditional customer base.
Target has produced a range of items for Pride Month for a decade, according to the Daily Mail. As well as sponsoring a number of Pride events, Bud Light is among the five of America’s 10 most popular beers to have LGBTQ+ partnerships.
The two are not the only brands to have recently faced boycott calls over pro-LGBTQ+ marketing. In April, whiskey maker Jack Daniel’s caused outrage after teaming up with three drag queens for a Pride Month promotion—despite the campaign being nearly two years old.
Prior to that, chocolate makers Hershey’s faced a similar response to an advertising campaign in February after including a transgender rights activist’s face on special chocolate bar wrappers in Canada for International Women’s Day.
Meanwhile, Miller Lite has recently faced calls by conservatives for the brand to be boycotted over its two-month-old commercial, which highlights the historical role that women played in beer brewing.
Newsweek has contacted representatives of Target via email for comment.
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