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GOP AG’s Pounce, Target Has More Than Financial Problems Now

Target has come under fire from a group of Republican attorneys general who are warning the company of possible violations of child-protection laws due to its controversial Pride collection.

Led by Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita, the seven attorneys general wrote a letter to Target CEO Brian Cornell expressing concerns with the “potentially harmful products” featured in the Pride collection, including clothing they say may impact parental rights.

“The products in this collection raise concerns regarding compliance with our States’ child-protection laws and parental-rights laws,” the letter reads. “We are concerned by recent events involving the company’s ‘Pride’ campaign.”

The letter highlighted several of the collection’s items that drew criticism, including a girl’s swimsuit that advertised its ability to “tuck” male genitalia, and onesies and bibs for babies.

The group also pointed to Target’s decision to remove clothing from the line produced by Satonian fashion designer Erik Carnell, whose collection features Satanic-themed slogans.

The attorneys general also argued that Target’s leadership put politics over the business, noting the company’s stock has since fallen nearly 20% since the controversy surrounding the Pride collection first arose.

“Directors and officers must act solely in the best interest of the company,” the letter reads.

The news comes just weeks after several corporate partners of the LGBTQ+ movement pulled their support of the campaign after a dispute over tweets sent by Chick-fil-A’s CEO.

For its part, Target has not commented on the letter from the attorneys general, and it’s unclear what kind of action they will take in response to the warning.

The Pride collection was intended to commemorate the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, a pivotal moment in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights and one of the major events that sparked the modern gay rights movement.

The incident has become yet another example of the pitfalls of corporate activism and the difficult line companies must walk when attempting to support social justice causes. And as support for the movement wanes, companies may find it difficult to strike the balance between meaningful action and alienating their customers.

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