Target has faced significant backlash and subsequently removed “pride” themed items associated with a satanist designer, Abprallen, due to the public’s strong opposition to their partnership. The company’s pride collection drew criticism for its inclusion of items catering to children, babies, and transgender adults, including swimsuits with “tuck-friendly” and “light-binding” effects. Among the assortment were two designs by Abprallen, a UK-based designer who identifies as a transgender gay man and a satanist, openly paying tribute to the satanic figure Baphomet and emphasizing that “Satan respects pronouns.” Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) was among those who criticized Target for promoting this agenda.
Following the ongoing backlash, Target has discontinued the sale of Abprallen’s items. A search for Abprallen on the Target website, which previously displayed the two designs, now yields no results. Target issued a statement explaining that they have faced threats jeopardizing the safety and well-being of their team members, prompting them to make adjustments to their plans, including removing items that have been at the center of confrontational behavior.
While items by the satanic designer are being removed, other items in the collection are still under review due to continued criticism and boycott threats. The Baphomet design, which the designer identified as one of their most popular, was seen as significant for Abprallen’s brand. The designer’s Instagram post stated that Satan is merely a symbol of passion, pride, liberty, and respect for pronouns and that they chose a variation of Baphomet, a deity that rejects binary stereotypes and expectations.
Additionally, swimsuits marketed toward transgender adults, featuring “tuck-friendly” bottoms for male individuals seeking a more feminine appearance and tops with a “light-binding” effect for gender-confused women, are also under review. Target has yet to make a decision regarding these products. Recently, an “emergency” call prompted certain Target stores to relocate the pride sections from prominent areas to smaller sections in the back, resulting in the removal of large signage and mannequins.
Target’s decision to remove the satanist designer’s items reflects their acknowledgment of public sentiment and concerns regarding the promotion of controversial ideologies. This move also highlights the ongoing scrutiny surrounding the inclusion of gender-related merchandise and the need for careful evaluation of products marketed to various demographic groups.