Satan-loving trans designer behind Target’s boycotted Pride clothing campaign says the retailer and Bud Light are examples of ‘rainbow capitalism’
Erik Carnell, a British designer whose slogans include ‘Satan loves pronouns,’ had his products pulled from Target after the retail giant faced a consumer boycott over its Pride Month collection.
The Pride month collection featured transgender swimsuits, books called ‘bye bye binary’ and a handful of items made by the British designer.
Target has sold LGBTQ-related goods tied to Pride month for years, but last week the big-box chain removed Carnell’s products, citing an increase in confrontations between customers and employees.
Erik Carnell is a transgender British designer who says Target and Bud Light have exposed the dangers of ‘rainbow capitalism’ ahead of Pride month
Carnell said his designs – which are printed on pins, stickers and T-shirts – have been labeled ‘Satanic’ – but were not those being sold in Target as part of Pride month.
Companies like Target that launch products and campaigns for Pride Month seek to profit from LGBTQ people but fail to stand by them when challenges arise, Carnell said.
‘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,’ said Carnell.
‘If you’re going to take a stance and say that you care about the LGBT community, you need to stand by that regardless.’
Target’s decision to remove some Pride products came weeks after brewer Anheuser-Busch’s partnership with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney triggered transphobic comments on social media and a boycott.
Target’s collection for Pride Month, which is celebrated every year in June, includes more than 2,000 products, including Carnell’s Abprallen brand.
His brand’s products are the only ones so far that have been removed both in-store and online, he said.
Carnell said he has received hate messages and death threats over the past week, adding that he has had no contact from Target – who are yet to comment on the matter.
The collection featured transgender swimsuits, books called ‘bye bye binary’ and a handful of items made by the British designer
Companies like Target that launch products and campaigns for Pride Month seek to profit from LGBTQ people but fail to stand by them when challenges arise, Carnell said
In a May 24 memo to Target employees, obtained by Business Insider, Target CEO Brian Cornell said ‘one of the hardest parts’ of its move to pull the merchandise was figuring out how that would impact the ‘wellbeing and psychological safety’ of the LGBTQ community.
‘We stand with you now and will continue to do so – not just during Pride Month, but each and every day,’ he said.
The designer Carnell said Etsy, an online marketplace where Abprallen has a store, got in touch to check on him, and that Threadless, which prints his designs, offered him its premium services for free.
Target unveiled its Pride Month collection at the start of May, fresh on the heels of the Bud Light Dylan Mulvaney controversy.
Bud Light sales plummeted to 25.7 percent from the week ending May 20 as the same week a year ago, while nearest rival Model Especial saw sales jump 9.2 percent, according to data from Bump Williams Consulting cited by the New York Post.
The drop could see the company risk losing its title as the top-selling US beer, after sales of the beer posted their biggest decline from the prior year since the brand’s controversial partnership with Mulvaney.
Target’s share prices continued to drop for an eighth-straight day Tuesday as the retailer faces its biggest losing streak in five years.
‘Satan-loving’ Carnell had his products pulled from Target after the retail giant faced a consumer boycott over its Pride Month collection
Shares fell 3.66 percent on Tuesday, resulting in the once-popular retail store losing a whopping $2.4billion in market capitalization amid widespread backlash to its Pride display.
Tuesday’s losses put the stock on its longest losing streak since November 2018, according to FOX Business, with shares at a 52-week low of $133.88 — down nearly 15 percent over the month.
Target’s market capitalization is down by more than $12billion in the last 14 days as its value plunged to $61.85billion when trading closed Tuesday.
Erik – a transgender man – proudly shared photos of the collaboration on Instagram.
‘These have already got the transphobes infuriated with me and I feel like quite the celebrity to think that they believe this is all some big conspiracy and I have any power to brainwash anyone when I’m just some guy drawing pictures!’ he said.
A closer look at his other work reveals some more sinister material.
Badges with slogans like ‘Satan Respects Pronouns’, ‘Young, Queer and Willing’ and a lighter pin with the words ‘burn down the cis-tem’ are among other products.
Badges for sale on Abprallen’s site include one with the slogan ‘young, bisexual and willing’
Other items that are for sale on the Abpralle Etsy store are more sinister. Stickers and badges which denigrate ‘cis feelings’ – the feelings of non transgender people – and Fox News are among them
A guillotine pin with the words ‘homophobe headrest’ and pair of axes calling for the ‘fight for trans rights’ are also for sale online
A description on Abprallen’s Etsy store details the designer’s interpretation of Satan
He also models the ‘Satan respects pronouns’ t-shirt on an Instagram page while wearing BDSM-style horns and no pants.
In a bio on the brand’s website, he says he has always been fascinated with the ‘frightening and mystical’.
‘I juxtapose it with imagery of skulls and spooky things – an interest of mine since I was a child. There’s something magical about the unknown, the frightening, and the mystical which is why I so frequently feature these themes in my art,’ he says.
In a description on his Etsy store, he goes on: ‘Satan loves you and respects who you are. You’re important and valuable in this world and you deserve to treat yourself with love and respect.’