‘Boycott Target’ memes take over Twitter amid LGBTQ merchandise outrage

Daniel Munro

A small but vocal group of protestors have taken to Twitter to post memes urging people to boycott Target over their Pride 2023 merch, though they have been met with various counter-tweets.

Retail giants Target have spent decades building a reputable brand as the go-to store for all daily necessities. Though, in recent days, the grocery merchants have found themselves at the center of a fierce culture war debate, sparked by an inclusive range of merchandise they released ahead of the annual celebration of Pride month, which is set to take place in June. And, like most debates in 2023, Twitter is a battleground of memes, with some people calling for a Target boycott while others are showing solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community.

Twitter hit with boycott Target memes

The recent controversy surrounding Target arose after various people on social media took issue with the brand’s pride merchandise, leading to calls for boycotts and a number of threatening messages reportedly being sent toward the designer, Erik Carnell.

The crux of the issue among those complaining appeared to be that they believed Target was promoting the pride range toward children, with several angry tweeters filming themselves inside the store while pointing out items in the pride collection that they disagreed with.

The memes on Twitter have centered around an attempt to start a mass boycott of the store, with one prolific conservative user named Team USA declaring “Go Woke Go Broke” to be the impending fate of Target.

Target released a statement today, May 24, confirming that some items have been removed from the Pride section after the company “experienced threats impacting our team members’ sense of safety and well-being while at work.”

Twitter users defend Target’s pride collection

The Target boycott calls have not been met with universal support, however. Various social media users have rubbished the calls for a boycott, though have criticized Target for giving in to the calls of the protestors through the removal of certain elements of the range.

“I’m so over the fake corporate LGBTQ+ support”, tweeted one disappointed user. “When all these brands change their logos to pride colors in less than a month, they better actually put money towards the cause too…”

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Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

“so just to be clear: they removed it because the employees were getting harassed because of it and it could escalate to dangerous confrontations”, one Twitter offered up as a retort. “people’s lives could literally be at risk. keeping their employees from getting harassed, hurt or even worse is not that bad,” they said in support of Target.

Target debate latest in line of boycotts

The debate around Target appears to be the latest in what feels like a long line of similar boycotts and protest movements being launched against popular brands over their engagement with the LGBTQ+ community.

The boycotting en masse began back in early April, after a rage of outspoken conservative pundits called for Bud Light to be avoided, after they made sponsored content with a transgender influencer.

Though the creator at the center of the debate, Dylan Mulavney, never commented on the matter, the boycott sparked several subsequent boycotts of companies including Olay, Nike and ASOS.

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