Target shoppers fuming over the retailer’s LGBTQ merchandise — including “tuck-friendly” swimwear — have stormed some stores to tear down Pride signs, badger workers and even leave a case of Bud Light alongside the offending items.
The Minneapolis-based chain — which has lost $9 billion in the last week following boycott calls over LGBTQ-friendly kids clothing — has announced it will remove some of the offending items partly because of safety fears for their workers.
The online fury spilling over into the aisles includes one MAGA-hat wearing provocateur who was filmed ripping down a “#TakePride” sign from a clothing rack of LGBTQ apparel.
Ethan Schmidt — a 24-year-old far-right internet personality who previously made headlines for his off-color remarks — is seen tossing the rainbow-colored sign to the floor before stomping on it and kicking it in the 19-second clip.
Another self-proclaimed patriot and activist, Scott LoBaido, filmed himself on Wednesday at a Staten Island Target location, shouting: “Memorial Day weekend, where is the display supporting and showing homage to the men and women of the military?”
“There’s a couple of little ‘made in China’ pieces of sh-t here,” he adds, pointing to a small, three-shelf section with red, white and blue paraphernalia.
“In November, do we get a veterans display that says ‘proud to be a veteran?’ No, we do not,” LoBaido says before a Target employee approaches and asks him to stop screaming.
“I just talk loud,” the LoBaido replied, going on to increase his volume: “Get rid of the kids’ sh-t that doesn’t belong in here. You cater to 0.1%. You’re going to go down like Budweiser!”
One Target shopper provided a more cheeky protest, placing a case of Bud Light in a rack promoting Pride items — a reference to the beer brand’s ill-fated partnership with trans social media star Dylan Mulvaney.
“Completed the Target display,” wrote one Twitter user after a photo was posted to the social media site.
The Post reached out to Target for comment.
The retail giant has been forced to backtrack over its Pride collection just a week after CEO Brian Cornell has dismissed the uproar, saying the products are good for business and “the right thing for society.”
But the company’s stock has dropped nearly 20% since the controversy erupted. Thursday, the stock fell 3%, to $138,.after trading at around $160 last week.
The discount chain, which has more than 450,000 workers in roughly 1,900 locations nationwide, has pulled some of its LGBTQ-friendly clothing from its stores.
A spokesperson cited “threats impacting our team members’ sense of safety and well-being while at work” as reason for the “adjustment.”
“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 Target spokesperson added.
Target declined to specify which specific pieces from its Pride line would be removed.
Infants and children’s clothing donning Pride messaging, along with an adult women’s “tuck-friendly” swimsuit, have particularly caused the uproar.
The highly-criticized “tuck-friendly” women’s swimsuits have extra fabric in the crotch area to allow trans women who have not had gender-affirming operations to conceal their private parts.
Pride clothing in the children’s section include T-shirts that say “Pride Adult Drag Queen ‘Katya,’” “Trans people will always exist!” and “Girls Gays Theys.”
Target’s adult Pride line includes sweatshirts and tote bags with messages like “Live laugh lesbian,” “Cure transphobia not trans people,” “Too queer for here” and “We belong everywhere.”
The graphic tees were made by London-based apparel company Abprallen, which is headed by a transgender man known as “Erik” and also sells apparel featuring satanic imagery, like pentagrams, horned skulls and devil references.
Schmidt, the MAGA-hatted shopper, lashed out at a Target employee over the ‘satanic’ brand in another clip he posted to Twitter.
“Yeah, both. Satan and Pride,” the employee responds sarcastically.
“Hey, do you guys support the satanic Pride propaganda?” he asks the worker.
Meanwhile, another clip posted to social media shows Target employees moving the Pride display from the front of the store to the back.
In a TikTok posted Tuesday, a user explains that “upper management folded like a pretzel” when a customer at the Cypress, Texas, Target location complained “about the first thing they see when they come in is the Pride section.”
She then shows her friend, who works as a Target employee, moving the Pride display to the back of the store.
It’s unclear how many other Target stores had workers move the Pride display to a section of the store with less foot traffic.
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