Target is removing some merchandise celebrating Pride Month from store shelves after facing a backlash against the products, including threats against the safety of its workers.
The retail giant said in a statement posted on its website Wednesday that it was committed to celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community but was withdrawing some items over threats that were “impacting our team members’ sense of safety and well-being” on the job.
“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 company said.
Pride Month takes place in June, though some of the items were already on sale.
Target did not reply to a series of follow-up questions from NPR, such as which items were removed and whether it was increasing security at its stores.
Reuters reported that the company is removing from stores and its website products created by the LGBTQ brand Abprallen, which offers some products featuring spooky, gothic imagery, such as skulls and Satan, in pastels colors.
Conservative activists and media have also bashed Targetin recent days for selling “tuck-friendly” women’s swimsuits that allow some trans women to hide their genitalia, the Associated Press reported.
Those swimsuits are among a group of products under review by Target but that haven’t yet been removed, Reuters said.
In addition to public criticisms of the company, video has also emerged on social media of people throwing Pride displays to the floor in a Target store.
“Extremist groups want to divide us and ultimately don’t just want rainbow products to disappear, they want us to disappear,” Kelley Robinson, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said in a tweet.