Seven Republican state attorneys general warned Target on Wednesday that its LGBTQ-friendly Pride collection may violate child protection laws.
The seven AGs sent a five-page letter to Target CEO Brian Cornell saying state officials are “concerned” that Target’s 2023 Pride collection was “potentially harmful to minors” as it interfered “with parental authority in matters of sex and gender identity, and possible violation of fiduciary duties by the company’s directors and officers.”
“It is likely more profitable to sell the type of Pride that enshrines the love of the United States,” they penned.
The group was led by Indiana AG Todd Rokita, who co-signed the message alongside fellow AGs in Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri and South Carolina.
They wrote that “Target wittingly marketed and sold LGBTQIA+ promotional products to families and young children as part of a comprehensive effort to promote gender and sexual identity among children.”
The letter also cited particularly upsetting pieces in the cheap-chic retailer’s “PRIDE” line.
It pointed to “LGBT-themed onesies, bibs, and overalls, t-shirts labeled ‘Girls Gays Theys’; ‘Pride Adult Drag Queen Katya’ (which depicts a male dressed in female ‘drag’); and girls’ swimsuits with ‘tuck-friendly construction’ and ‘extra crotch coverage’ for male genitalia.”
It’s unclear how the AGs are looking for Target to remedy the alleged threat to child protection laws, such as if they want Target to remove the rest of its Pride collection from shelves.
Target reportedly already pulled some of its LGBTQ-friendly kids clothing from shelves, though it wasn’t clear which pieces ended up being yanked.
Representatives for Target did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment.
The letter also called out a shirt that said “Homophobe headrest” next to a picture of a guillotine, as well as one that read “Transphobe collector” alongside a picture of a skull.
The AGs also condemned Target for selling items designed by the “self-declared ‘Satanist-Inspired’ brand Abprallen,” which they said “glorified violence.”
“Target’s ‘PRIDE’ campaign was decidedly not an example of excellence in retail,” the letter stated, adding that the boycott it caused also threatened the economic interests of Target’s shareholders.
The backlash from the controversy caused the Minneapolis-based retailer to lose more than $12 billion in market value, the letter noted.
As of Thursday afternoon, Target’s share price dipped another 1.2% to $130.92. Over the past six months, shares are down more than 18%.
“The evidence suggests that Target’s directors and officers may be negligent,” the letter said.
Cornell previously defended the retailer’s controversial collection, calling it “the right thing for society.”
On Fortune’s “Leadership Next” podcast in May, the chief executive was asked about the backlash to “woke” capitalism, which has also engulfed iconic beer brand Bud Light as well as entertainment giant Disney.
“I think those are just good business decisions, and it’s the right thing for society, and it’s the great thing for our brand,” Cornell said.
The Target boss, whose company employs more than 450,000 workers in more than 1,900 locations nationwide, said the company’s strategy is aimed to cater to a diversifying customer base.
He even said the collection “is helping us drive sales” and build “greater engagement,” despite figures that showed Target’s value sank more than $15 billion last month.
The letter concluded by claiming that “certain immutable precepts and principles must always endure so long as America is to remain free and prosperous.”