Target CEO Says Conservatives Upset About Trans Merch Are Dangerous

( – Decades ago, former President Bill Clinton designated June as pride month to recognize activism in the gay community and mark the Stonewall Riots of 1969. In 2009, former President Barack Obama expanded the spirit of the month to include not only gay and lesbian people but also transgender and bisexual people as well. For the last 10 years, Target has recognized the month, putting out merchandise in support of the community. However, this past June marked some trouble for the retail giant.

On November 2, Target CEO Brian Cornell sat down with the “Squawk Box” on CNBC to talk about the controversy that took place at his stores all over the country. He said the uproar over the merchandise offered during Pride Month at Target created such a dangerous environment for his team that he had no choice but to make some changes. Cornell said the backlash was worse than the violence during the pandemic, any natural disasters during his tenure, and the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder.

When asked by the host what kind of issues were happening, the CEO said customers were yelling at team members, threatening them, destroying merchandise, saying they would set the merchandise on fire, and generally making employees feel unsafe coming to work. In all his time as the top executive of Target — over 10 years — he’d never seen such a thing.

Ultimately, the CEO said he had to think about the safety of his workers. He said Target moved the location of the merchandise and pulled some of the items. When pressed about the rumors that some controversial items were being offered to children and the designer worshipped the devil, Cornell scoffed, saying they both knew those rumors weren’t true.

But even after Target pulled the products, the threats didn’t end. He said those who were upset about the changes threatened to bomb the store. The CEO said Target will take the lessons they learned in June and use them “mov[ing] forward.” He didn’t go into further detail about what that meant.

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