American department store chain Target has said that it will be removing part of its collection celebrating Pride Month after employees faced threats while at work.
In a statement, the retailer noted that it had offered such an assortment “for more than a decade”, however it had seen a different response to the products this time round.
The statement read: “Since introducing this year's collection, we've experienced threats impacting our team members' sense of safety and well-being while at work.
“Given these volatile circumstances, we are making adjustments to our plans, including removing items that have been at the centre of the most significant confrontational behaviour.
“Our focus now is on moving forward with our continuing commitment to the LGBTQIA+ community and standing with them as we celebrate Pride Month and throughout the year.”
The backlash was primarily linked to a series of products by British designer Erik Carnell that featured images of pentagrams and “Satanic” references.
In contrast, the decision to remove the products has seen Target also come under criticism from members of the LGBTQIA+ community and its allies, many of whom have claimed the move is evidence that the corporation simply uses Pride collections as a cash grab.
Additionally, a spokesperson for the company, Kayla Castaneda, told Reuters that Target was also reviewing a selection of transgender swimsuits and children’s merchandise, with one item in particular coming under scrutiny for its “tuck friendly” marketing.
Castaneda told the media outlet that no decision on those products had currently been made.