Seven Republican attorneys general warned Target on Thursday that the company’s Pride collection contained vulgar clothing that may violate child-protection laws.
Led by Republican Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita, the group argued that Target’s June Pride collection was “potentially harmful to minors” and that the boycotts threatened the economic interests of the corporation’s shareholders. They warned the company that the Pride campaign has raised “concerns” about compliance with state parental rights and child protection laws.
“As Attorneys General committed to enforcing our States’ child-protection and parental-rights laws and our States’ economic interests as Target shareholders, we are concerned by recent events involving the company’s ‘Pride’ campaign,” they wrote. “Our concerns entail the company’s promotion and sale of potentially harmful products to minors, related potential interference with parental authority in matters of sex and gender identity, and possible violation of fiduciary duties by the company’s directors and officers.”
Joining AG Rokita on the letter, addressed to Target CEO, Brian Cornell, were state attorney generals from Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri and South Carolina.
Target has yet to respond.
Target’s Pride collection this year provoked heavy criticism, with many parents and shoppers seeing the collection as highly inappropriate. The company eventually removed some of the clothing, which in turn, drew the ire of LGBTQ+ activists.
Specific Pride products that drew heavy criticism included a girls’ swimsuit that advertised its ability to “tuck” male genitalia, and Pride themed onesies and bibs for babies.
Target was also criticized for selling products from clothing brand Abprallen, which is associated with British designer Erik Carnell, who proudly designs and sells Satanic clothing. Some of his designs feature the slogan, “Satan Respects Pronouns.”
Target stock has fallen nearly 20% since the controversy began.
“Losses of this magnitude – caused by isolating Target’s core customers – raise concerns that Target’s board and management may have acted negligently,” the attorneys general wrote in the letter. “Further evidence suggests Target’s leadership may have acted on collateral interests. Directors and officers must act solely in the best interest of the company.”
— Bo Snerdley (@BoSnerdley) July 6, 2023