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Civil Rights & Abortion Discuss Retail Giant Won't Sell 'Channel Orange,' Says It's Strictly A Business Decision at the Political Forums; No idea who this singer is or if there is even smoke here. If this decision is indeed based upon ...

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Old 07-12-2012, 11:58 AM
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Default Retail Giant Won't Sell 'Channel Orange,' Says It's Strictly A Business Decision

No idea who this singer is or if there is even smoke here. If this decision is indeed based upon his sexual orientation, I will never shop at Target again.

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Frank Ocean's album may currently be the most buzzed about disc in music, but Target isn't interested. Billboard reports the discount retail giant announced it will not sell Channel Orange, claiming the decision was a reaction to iTunes' one-week exclusive. Many are wondering, however, if the move was actually inspired by the fact that Ocean recently came out.

Ocean's first studio album hit iTunes after the R&B singer's surprise appearance on Tuesday's "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon," a full week before previously planned. Of course, this meant that brick and mortar retailers would lose out on that first week's sales.

The brand has a complicated history with the LGBT community. Target first faced a strong backlash after donating $150,000 to MN Forward, a group that was backing Tom Emmer's gubernatorial bid in Minnesota. Emmer was known for being especially conservative and not supporting equal rights for LGBT citizens. At the time, Target Corp.'s CEO Gregg Steinhafel said the company was merely championing a candidate who would be an advocate for its business interests. He later apologized.

Though the brand recently printed a run of shirts in celebration of Gay Pride Week, critics took issue with the fact that the shirts were only available online (not in stores). That fact struck some as a half-hearted attempt at erasing past offenses, but it should be noted that the company donated a portion of proceeds from the shirts to the Family Equality Council, an LGBT advocacy group.

A statement from the company implied the digital exclusive was to blame for the decision to not sell Channel Orange: "At Target, we focus on offering our guests a wide assortment of physical CDs, so our selection of new releases is dedicated to physical CDs rather than titles that are released digitally in advance of the street date."

Ocean's manager and Odd Future's father figure Christian Clancy tweeted, "Target has refused to carry Frank's album because of iTunes exclusive. Interesting since they also donate to non-equal rights organizations." He later deleted the tweets and recanted, but Target, no doubt hoping to head off a MN Forward-like controversy, swiftly moved to dispel any notions that politics was to blame for their move. The following statement was sent to Billboard:

The claims made about Target's decision to not carry the Frank Ocean album are absolutely false. Target supports inclusivity and diversity in every aspect of our business. Our assortment decisions are based on a number of factors, including guest demand.

Target has a longstanding tradition of supporting music and artistry that reflects the diverse landscape of American culture. Our history of partnering with diverse artists includes recent partnerships with a variety of musicians, such as Ricky Martin, B.o.B., and Gloria Estefan.

At the time of this writing Channel Orange is still the top-selling album in the iTunes music store. The 16-track effort is the 24-year-old's debut studio album. Previously, Ocean wrote songs for Beyonce, John Legend and Justin Bieber and appeared on Kanye West and Jay-Z's Watch The Throne. He had also released nostalgia, ULTRA, a highly lauded mixtape which put him on the map as one of the nation's premiere R&B talents.
Frank Ocean, Target: Retail Giant Won't Sell 'Channel Orange,' Says It's Strictly A Business Decision
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Old 07-12-2012, 01:03 PM
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Default Re: Retail Giant Won't Sell 'Channel Orange,' Says It's Strictly A Business Decision

Gee, you mean there's a commercial interest who won't push what others think they should push the way they should push it? This calls for a mandate. They need to be taxed, and the money redistributed so the product can receive its equal share. Some place somebody is being deprived of his gay music, because he shops (through no fault of his own) at the wrong store.

At the very least this calls for a boycott. We won't shop there, so nobody else should.
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Old 07-12-2012, 01:08 PM
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Default Re: Retail Giant Won't Sell 'Channel Orange,' Says It's Strictly A Business Decision

Okay, Target has a mixed record on being inclusive...

That being said, I have a hard time believing that Ocean coming out led to Target not carrying his album. They carried Adam Lambert...
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Old 07-12-2012, 06:06 PM
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Default Re: Retail Giant Won't Sell 'Channel Orange,' Says It's Strictly A Business Decision

Around here, at least, Target markets itself as a more upscale version of Walmart... but also as a slightly hipper, edgier version.
I'd be shocked if Target deliberately alienated gays. It's popular with the gay working class, who can't afford really nice things but still want clothes they're not embarrassed to wear and home furnishings they aren't ashamed to display.

I can see Walmart (the choice of the conservative Christian working class) doing it- they've already pissed off progressives in any number of ways; I think they do it deliberately, because it further endears them to working class conservatives- but I'd be really, really surprised if Target came out openly in any way against gays, females, minorities, etc.

For instance, Target issued a corporate statement in support of nursing mothers in 2006, coinciding with widely publicized reports of Walmart prohibiting breastfeeding and hassling and humiliating shoppers who attempted to nurse babies on the premises (under extreme public pressure, Walmart reluctantly reversed its position several years later).

I guess I always just assumed Target was gay inclusive.
If it isn't, I'll have to take my business elsewhere, which sucks, because I like Target. But.
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Old 07-12-2012, 06:16 PM
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Default Re: Retail Giant Won't Sell 'Channel Orange,' Says It's Strictly A Business Decision

Hmmm...

"[Target] states that individuality may include a wide spectrum of attributes such as personal style, age, race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, language, physical ability, religion, family, citizenship status, socio-economic circumstances, education and life experiences.[118]

The Target employee diversity initiative is called "All Together Target."[119] It specifically seeks to work with vendors and contractors that are owned by minorities or women.[120]

It has long extended domestic-partner benefits to straight, gay, and lesbian employees. However, it does not extend its employee discount to domestic partners, or same sex spouses stating the reason is it uses IRS guidelines of who can be claimed on federal taxes to determine who is eligible for the discount. However, in February 2012 it has started to extend the team member discount to same sex partners of employees. It had received a 100 on the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index Score, prior to donating funds to Minnesota Forward.[121] In addition, Target Corporation was named one of the "100 Best Companies for Working Mothers" in 2004 by Working Mother.[122]

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has repeatedly given Target failing grades on its annual Economic Reciprocity Initiative report card, a measure of the company's "commitment to the African-American citizenry". In 2003 and 2005, the NAACP has rated Target an "F" on this report; in 2004, Target was rated a "D-".[123][124][125] In 2006, when Target was asked why it didn't participate in the survey again,[126] a representative explained, "Target views diversity as being inclusive of all people from all different backgrounds, not just one group."[127]

In February 2006 the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) filed a class action discrimination lawsuit in Northern California's Alameda County Superior Court, claiming that Target’s commercial website, "contains thousands of access barriers that make it difficult, if not impossible, for blind customers to use."[128] Target Corporation settled the lawsuit in October 2008 paying $6 million and agreeing to work with the NFB over the next three years improving the usability of the Target.com site.[129]

On August 24, 2009 the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed a discrimination lawsuit against national retailer Target Corporation for unlawfully denying reasonable accommodation to an employee with multiple disability-based impairments and substantially reducing his work hours due to the medical conditions.[130] According to the claims in the U.S. EEOC press release, Target’s actions violated Title I of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and Title I of the Civil Rights Act of 1991.[131]"


Target Corporation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

While clearly light-years ahead of Walmart, from a progressive standpoint, it seems that Target is failing a number of demographic groups in more subtle ways.
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Old 07-12-2012, 11:45 PM
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Default Re: Retail Giant Won't Sell 'Channel Orange,' Says It's Strictly A Business Decision

Have either of the country's straight entertainers commented?
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Old 07-12-2012, 11:53 PM
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Default Re: Retail Giant Won't Sell 'Channel Orange,' Says It's Strictly A Business Decision

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Have either of the country's straight entertainers commented?
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