There’s a popular meme that originates with an episode of “SpongeBob SquarePants” in which a previously beaten-up individual once again is surrounded by angry townsfolk. As they close in, one attacker shakes his fist and shouts, “How many times do we have to teach you this lesson, old man?”
Target Corp., the popular American department store chain, may be in for another round of lessons in the consequences of annoying its consumers with “Pride” merchandising. With the Christmas season approaching quickly, Target has a special gift for Americans: a woke Christmas.
Shoppers can expect to see “gay Santas and LGBTQ-themed nutcrackers” on Target’s shelves of this season, the Washington Examiner reported.
Erik Thompson, identified as a “Senior LGBTQIA+ Segmentation Strategist & Pride Lead,” announced he would be joining Target in an Instagram post earlier this week. His post appears to have been deleted.
In the post, which decried the devastating consumer boycott over the summer after Target sold creepy LGBTQ-themed merchandise marketed to minors, Thompson promised “Glitter & Hellfire” to “rip that old world to shreds.”
Quite frankly, I’m almost awestruck at the doubling-down amid what has been, unequivocally, the most powerful year for boycotters of absurdly liberal business promotions.
Lest we forget, the conservative backlash against Anheuser-Busch for partnering transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney with its Bud Light brand cost the company at least $15.7 billion. It also resulted in lots of Bud Light sitting unpurchased on thousands of pallets around the country.
Benoit Garbe, Anheuser-Busch’s former U.S. chief marketing officer, was removed Nov. 16 after Bud Light sales refused to bounce back.
Target suffered similarly, with stock losses of nearly $14 billion and sales slumps of 5.4% in stores and 10.5% online in the second quarter. Target’s CFO blamed the losses on the “reaction to our Pride assortment.”
The Walt Disney Co.’s woke strategies met similar reactions, with streaming subscriptions slumping, park attendance abysmal, and movie releases failing box office expectations. Releases of the live-action “The Little Mermaid” and Disney-owned Marvel’s “The Marvels” lost hundreds of millions apiece for the megacorporation.
In September, Disney CEO Bob Iger told investors that he would endeavor to “quiet the noise” of Disney’s previous political posturing, and since has delayed release of the live-action version of “Snow White” by a full year, following leaks that revealed a serious departure from Disney’s original animated movie from 1937.
Despite crystal-clear indicators that this is the perfect time for companies to quit political posturing and pushing liberal propagandistic efforts, it looks like Target will take the same lessons yet again—and stubbornly so.
The reaction to Luke Gentile’s reporting in the Washington Examiner already looks bad for Target.
Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., calls it an insult to his constituents and warns of legislative consequences.
“When companies like Target that insult conservatives seek Republicans’ help on Capitol Hill,” Cotton said, “our response will be: ‘I’m sorry that’s happening to you. Best of luck.’”
In a market where traditionally brick-and-mortar stores face increasingly threatening competition from online retailers, Target can’t afford to play so loosely during the holiday season. Anheuser-Busch’s decision to double down after the Mulvaney fiasco cost the beermaker far more than profit margins; such arrogance cost many of its employees their jobs because of the brewery company’s unwillingness to appease the market.
The answer to such inflammatory shenanigans is deceptively simple: Apologize and get back to doing what you do best.
Heckler & Koch, a German arms manufacturer I’m quite fond of, previously employed a social media manager who had begun to use her platform at the brand to lecture H&K fans about sexism.
The backlash began to build following a Twitchy article, with boycotts almost certain. But Heckler & Koch then broke the mold. It fired the woke social media manager and issued a statement on X, formerly Twitter: “H&K does not engage in identity politics. A policy was violated. Changes were made.”
Since that post, H&K sales have risen comfortably. No boycotts, no drop in sales, no problem.
If Target wants a merry Christmas and a happy new year, it only has to stop with the identity politics that have fatigued millions of Americans. We don’t need to hear about Santa’s sex life or which gender the nutcracker is pretending to be.
As one consumer posted on X: “This is so annoying, I just want to shop.”
How executives can miss the forest for the trees in such a monumental blunder is truly beyond me. If Target wants to learn the same lesson again, then by all means we will deliver until the corporation’s leaders get the message.
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