Despite facing criticism for its gay pride-themed kids’ clothing line in June, Minnesota-based Target Corporation is reportedly set to expand its commitment to LGBTQ merchandise by hiring a “LGBTQIA+ strategist.”
“Time to whip out the … Glitter & Hellfire … flamethrowers and rip that old world to shreds darlings,” Target’s new hire, Erik Thompson, reportedly said in an Instagram post, according to the Washington Examiner. The post is now unavailable to view as Thompson made his account private.
“Honored to be starting a new body of work in a new role Target has built to lead the Multicultural Merchandising Strategy for the LGBTQIA+ guest segment and Pride businesses across the company for the LGBTQIA+ & Allied communities,” Thompson said in a LinkedIn post.
Thompson’s official title is “Senior LGBTQIA+ Segmentation Strategist & Pride Lead,” and he was hired in November, as indicated by his LinkedIn profile.
His Linkedin bio says that he is an “Inclusivity Warrior & Industry Disruptor” and he refers to himself as “Gay Cruella.”
The merchandise currently available on Target’s website features items like a Santa Claus adorned with a Pride flag and sporting a “Love is Love” t-shirt. Additionally, the company is offering Pride-themed nutcrackers, snow globes, gift wrap, and various Christmas ornaments.
Target’s June “Pride Collection” included LGBT-themed onesies for newborns along with “tuck-friendly” swimsuits.
The store faced significant backlash that included a major boycott, prompting the removal of some merchandise from the front display in some locations.
This controversy took a toll on Target’s market value, resulting in a $9 billion loss within a week of launching the collection.
Target also participated in this year’s Twin Cities Pride parade where a nearly nude man twerked in front of children.