Designer Eric Carnell behind Target’s LGBTQ controversy claims he received death threats

Disha Kandpal

Target is facing major backlash and boycott calls on social media after releasing its line of LGBTQ-inspired merch for which it collaborated with British designer Eric Carnell’s brand Abprallen.

Target’s latest controversy comes on the heels of Bud Light’s controversy involving transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney. Following a massive social media furor against the brand, recent news revealed that Bud Light was giving $20 rebates to beat the controversy.

Moreover, Miller Lite also faced boycott calls recently for its “woke” ad. Now Target has become the new aim for boycott calls and backlash online for its pride merch.

In addition to presenting pride-inspired items for kids, Target’s decision to collaborate with transgender designer Eric Carnell’s brand Abprallen also rubbed many the wrong way.

SEE: Why is Miller Lite boycott brewing? “Woke” ad controversy explained

Meet Eric Carnell – Designer behind Abprallen

The New York Post notes states that some were disturbed by the satanic imagery such as pentagrams, and horned skulls featured in the designer’s products.

Eric Carnell or as he calls himself on his website, “Erik” is a London-born fashion designer. He is a transgender man who owns the brand Abprallen. He notes that he based the brand’s name on the German translation of the word ‘ricochet.’

The designer states that he and his band have relocated several times to places like Argentina and Ukraine

He started his business with a £500 donation from friends and family. The designer identifies himself as a gay transgender man and uses the pronouns he/him.

He sells a variety of products on his website. There, you can find colorful t-shirts, pins, badges, stickers, etc. Most of his products carry a quirky message in support of the LGBTQ community.

There are messages like “Fight for Trans Rights,” “Witches and Wizards love Trans people,” “Burn Down the Cis-Tem” and more on his pins.

One of his t-shirts with the message “Satan Respects Pronouns” has garnered a lot of attention since his Target collab came to light.

READ: Sports Illustrated faces boycott calls over Transgender model cover

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Trans designer responds to Target collab backlash

Amid the social media furor relating to his Target collab, Eric took to the Instagram account of his brand Abprallen to comment on the controversy.

The transgender entrepreneur noted how many were focused on his Target collab rather than focusing on “real problems in the world.” He revealed he had received death threats writing, “Its odd that so many Christians have sent me death threats, and detailed description of violence they would enact on me, or on the suffering they hope I would experience.”

He also pointed out how this wasn’t the first time Target had experienced boycott calls.

He finally said “no intention to stop,” what he is doing despite the hate messages he is receiving. The designer also urged people to focus on helping those close to them.

“Please don’t waste your precious time engaging with a stranger on the internet.”

Target responds to the controversy

As per Reuters, the retail corporation said they were pulling out some merch items. They cited the safety of their employees as the reason for the decision.

“Since introducing this year’s collection, we’ve experienced threats impacting our team members’ sense of safety and wellbeing while at work,” Target said.

“Given these volatile circumstances, we are making adjustments to our plans, including removing items that have been at the center of the most significant confrontational behavior.”

The retailer’s new line of LGBTQ-inspired merch also included items for kids. It featured items with the messages like “live laugh lesbian,” “cure transphobia, not trans people,” “queer all year,” “we belong everywhere,” “Bye Bye, Binary,” and more. This has seemed to upset many internet users.

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