Shareholder sues Target over ‘billions’ lost after Pride campaign backlash

The lawsuit alleges that Target's DEI and ESG policies weren’t designed to benefit all shareholders and only benefited an ideological agenda.

Items in the 2023 Pride collection at a Target store in Crystal, Minn. (Shutterstock)

(Daily Caller News Foundation) — America First Legal (AFL), a legal activist group, sued Target Corporation and its board of directors on behalf of a Target shareholder, alleging the company misled shareholders and lost investors billions, according to a new lawsuit.

Target announced a Pride collection in May 2023 that marketed LGBTQ-themed clothing to kids including onesies with the transgender flag and LGBTQ-themed books for children which resulted in a boycott of the store and the company’s stock losing billions. The lawsuit alleges that Target’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) policies weren’t designed to benefit all shareholders and only benefited an ideological agenda, ignoring past DEI-related company failures such as Bud Light’s loss in sales due to hiring an LGBTQ ambassador.

“Target Corporation … betrayed both Target’s core customer base of working families and its investors by making false and misleading statements concerning Target’s Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) mandates that led to its disastrous 2023 children-and-family themed LGBTQ Pride campaign,” the lawsuit reads.

“Target’s now infamous children-and-family-themed LGBT-‘Pride’ marketing and sales campaign … embroiled Target in the culture war and caused Target to experience the biggest stock decline in the company’s history, costing investors billions,” the lawsuit continues.

Bud Light experienced a similar backlash when it sent Dylan Mulvaney, a well-known trans influencer, a personalized Bud Light can and made Mulvaney a brand ambassador, which resulted in the company losing billions. For the week ending July 22, the Anheuser-Busch brand’s sales dipped nearly 27%, and Anheuser-Busch has had to sell off multiple brands.

“In its 2022 and 2023 Proxy Statements, Target assured shareholders and investors that the Board was monitoring for social and political issues and risks arising from the company’s ESG and DEI mandates. However, management only cared whether its leftist ‘stakeholders’ were satisfied,” a press release from AFL reads.

Target did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.


Brandon Poulter