Target stores in at least five states, including Oklahoma, New York, New Hampshire, Vermont and Louisiana, have been targeted in bomb hoaxes amid a backlash over his Pride collection
Target stores in at least five states have been targeted with disturbing hoax bomb threats amid backlash over its decisions on LGBTQ+ Pride products.
The retail giant’s market capitalization plummeted by more than $15 billion following its Pride exit, leading the brand to pull some of its controversial products in the face of “threats” to employees.
But the decision to remove the items reportedly fueled bomb threats, with some saying Target “betrayed the LGBTQ+ community”.
According to Washington Postthe hoaxes were reported in Oklahoma, New York, New Hampshire, Vermont and Louisiana, although no explosives were found.
Target stores in at least five states have been targeted with bomb hoaxes in response to its LGBTQ Pride product decisions. Pictured: Police gather in front of a Miami target amid protests on June 1, 2023
Several local news outlets claimed to have received the threatening emails, claiming bombs had been planted in their local Target stores.
This included the Louisiana media KLFYwho reported that the hoax threat was driven by the Pride merchandise backlash and the companies’ decisions to bow to pressure.
“You have betrayed the LGBTQ+ community,” the email allegedly said.
“You are pathetic cowards who are bent on the wishes of far-right extremists who want to exterminate us.
“We will not tolerate intolerance or indifference. If you are not with us, you are against us. This is why we placed a bomb in each of your locations, evacuate now as this will only cause economic damage.
Target’s Pride products of the month sparked outrage from some conservative groups
This was followed by another threat made in Oklahoma, where KFOR said they received a disturbing message that began with: “We are going to play a game”.
The email included the addresses of several target locations, adding: “2 of these target locations contain bombs”. We have hidden bombs inside some products.
‘The bombs will explode in a few hours, guess which one has the bombs. Time is counted.’
The message signed with ‘4/19/1995’ – the same date of the Oklahoma City bombing that killed 168 people and injured 680 others.
Target’s latest swimwear line included a tag that advertises the “user-friendly construction” and “extra inseam” coverage.
Target has long announced its support for the LGBTQ community and spent $20 million in 2016 to add private, gender-neutral bathrooms to each of its stores.
Target’s controversial product release also included LGBTQ+ children’s literature
Target has joined several other major brands, including Bud Light and Adidas, in facing intense scrutiny for its LGBTQ+ product releases.
The criticism initially came from conservative groups, which took issue with items such as Target’s “tuck friendly” line of women’s swimwear.
Amid growing boycott calls and plummeting results, Target said it was removing some of the most unpopular items due to “volatile” complaints.
“Since introducing this year’s collection, we have experienced threats affecting our team members’ sense of safety and well-being at work,” Target said in a statement.
“Given these volatile circumstances, we are making adjustments to our plans, including removing elements that have been at the center of the most significant confrontational behavior,” said Kayla Castaneda, crisis communications manager.
While citing employee safety as the reason for the move, many attributed the decision to an attempt to end the financial repercussions of the backlash. The brand’s market capitalization plummeted by at least $15 billion following the release.