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Target made “emergency” calls last week to managers and senior directors at the store after the company faced backlash for its Pride collection, which included “tuck-friendly” female swimwear and other products, according to a source inside the company.
The calls were to direct some stores to make their Pride products display less prominent in order to avoid a “Bud Light situation,” a Target insider told Fox News.
“We were given 36 hours, told to take all of our Pride stuff, the entire section, and move it into a section that’s a third the size. From the front of the store to the back of the store, you can’t have anything on mannequins and no large signage,” the insider reportedly said.
“We call our customers ‘guests,’ there is outrage on their part. This year, it is just exponentially more than any other year,” the source added. “I think given the current situation with Bud Light, the company is terrified of a Bud Light situation.”
Bud Light has seen plummeting sales in the wake of a partnership with transgender-identifying activist and influencer Dylan Mulvaney. Target faced criticism last week after social media users pointed out that the store offered “tuck-friendly” and “extra crotch coverage” female swimsuits for sale.
A spokesperson for Target has said that these swimsuits were only for adults, and not children. Other products in the Target Pride collection include small shirts with phrases like “Just Be You And Feel The Love,” Pride-themed onesies, as well as rainbow-colored leggings, tutu skirts, and jumpers.
The calls on Friday focused on team safety and giving instructions on making some of the Pride products less prominent in the store.
“The call was super quick, it was 15 minutes. The first 10 minutes was about how to keep your team safe and not having to advocate for Target. The last five was, ‘Move this to the back, take down the mannequins and remove the signage,’” the source told Fox.
In response to the controversy, Target announced that it has also removed some products from its stores, which reportedly include a sweater that read “cure transphobia not trans people” and a “too queer for here” tote bag.
“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 on 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.”