The controversial transgender “Satanist” designer behind some of the Pride products that were removed from Target stores slammed the big-box retailer this week for setting a “dangerous precedent.”
Target initially partnered with U.K.-based brand Abprallen to sell merchandise with pro-LGBTQ messages to celebrate Pride month. However, some consumers were enraged by Target’s over-the-top Pride displays, with particular animosity geared toward the products for children.
Then it was revealed that Abprallen’s designer Erik Carnell appeared to be an outspoken Satanist whose brand features occult imagery and messages like “Satan respects pronouns” on brand apparel.
Target responded to widespread backlash by moving some Pride products to less prominent sections of the store, and removing other merchandise altogether. Carnell, who has claimed the merchandise mentioning Satan is tongue-in-cheek, blasted Target.
“It’s a very dangerous precedent to set, that if people just get riled up enough about the products that you’re selling, you can completely distance yourself from the LGBT community, when and if it’s convenient,” Carnell told Reuters.
“If you’re going to take a stance and say that you care about the LGBT community, you need to stand by that regardless,” Carnell added.
Carnell had previously explained in an Instagram post that Satan represents “passion, pride and liberty” and “loves all LGBT+ people.”
“Satanists don’t actually believe in Satan, he is merely used as a symbol of passion, pride, and liberty. He means to you what you need him to mean. So for me, Satan is hope, compassion, equality, and love. So, naturally, Satan respects pronouns. He loves all LGBT+ people. I went with a variation of Baphomet for this design, a deity who themself is a mixture of genders, beings, ideas, and existences. They reject binary stereotypes and expectations. Perfect,” he said.
Abprallen previously had two products on Target’s website, a messenger bag that says “Too queer for here” and a sweatshirt that says “Cure transphobia.” Neither product features Satanic imagery. As of Friday, Abprallen products were no longer listed on the site.
Carnell told Reuters that his “brand’s products are the only ones so far that have been removed both in-store and online.”
Target previously told Fox News Digital that some items have been removed.
“For more than a decade, Target has offered an assortment of products aimed at celebrating Pride Month. Since introducing this year’s collection, we’ve experienced threats impacting our team members’ sense of safety and wellbeing while at work. Given these volatile circumstances, we are making adjustments to our plans, including removing items that have been at the center of the most significant confrontational behavior. 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,” a Target spokesperson told Fox News Digital.
Reuters also reported, “Carnell says he has received hate messages and death threats over the past week, adding that he has had no contact from Target.”
The controversy has caused Target to lose billions in market cap, while rank-and-file staffers are peeved at the retailer.
“Whether you’re on the right, and you felt left behind in the beginning or you felt like you didn’t belong, and now if you’re LGTBQ you also have questions if you’re welcomed anymore,” a Target insider told Fox News Digital.