Target CEO Brian Cornell has come under scrutiny for his comments about the retailer’s LGBTQ Pride merchandise, with Consumers’ Research executive director Will Hild accusing him of making “flat-out lies” during a recent interview. Hild’s organization, Consumers’ Research, is known for its mission to challenge what it refers to as “woke corporations.”
In a CNBC interview, Cornell discussed declining sales and the controversy surrounding Target’s Pride Month merchandise. Host Becky Quick raised concerns about the merchandise, including allegations of “transgender bathing suits that are being targeted and marketed to kids,” as well as claims that Target worked with a designer who was described as a “devil worshiper.” Cornell responded by saying, “You and I both know, those weren’t true.”
Hild disagreed with Cornell’s statements, asserting that the CEO was providing false information about Target’s actions. He emphasized that Target did indeed collaborate with a designer associated with Satanic beliefs and offered products with transgender ideology, which had been reported by various publications.
Target had partnered with the U.K.-based brand Abprallen for its Pride Month merchandise, which featured controversial messages and designs. Hild also pointed out that the swimsuits with “tuck-friendly construction” to hide male genitalia were not available in children’s sizes but were placed in colorful Pride sections alongside other children’s products.
Hild argued that placing such products next to children’s items could be considered targeting children with these products, despite Cornell’s denial.
Target has not responded to the criticism from Consumers’ Research.
Hild further criticized Cornell’s strategy of shifting the focus to employee safety concerns during the interview. He believed that this was an attempt to divert blame from the company’s actions to the customers, portraying customers as the problem rather than acknowledging the concerns related to the Pride merchandise.
The Pride merchandise offered by Target had faced backlash even before the LGBTQ celebration began, particularly regarding the “tuck” bathing suits. The retailer made adjustments to some in-store Pride displays, including removing certain items.
Despite Cornell’s belief that the backlash is over, Hild argued that consumers remember the controversy and what they perceive as Target’s attempt to promote a “far-left radical gender ideology” to children.
It was also revealed that Target had partnered with GLSEN, an education group focused on implementing policies in K-12 schools to keep parents uninformed about their child’s in-school gender transition. GLSEN has received significant donations from Target, contributing to the concerns surrounding the retailer’s approach to LGBTQ issues.
He responded by denying it, saying all the allegations made against his company were lies. pic.twitter.com/RqYP2StR8n
— Will Hild (@WillHild) November 2, 2023