Target’s customer service Twitter account announced on Saturday that it was adding ‘Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters’, by Abigail Shrier, back to its online catalog. The move came just hours after the chain publicly stated that the volume had been wiped from its website in response to a single, anonymous complaint that said it was offensive to transgender people.
“Yesterday, we removed a book from Target.com based on feedback we received. We want to offer a broad assortment for our guests and are adding this book back to Target.com. We apologize for any confusion,” the company said.
The tweet was in response to a message penned by someone who claimed to have “lived through gender dysphoria” and took issue with Target’s decision to pull the book, describing it as essential reading.
Yesterday, we removed a book from https://t.co/Gla4QrFOmf based on feedback we received. We want to offer a broad assortment for our guests and are adding this book back to https://t.co/Gla4QrFOmf. We apologize for any confusion.
— AskTarget (@AskTarget) November 13, 2020
The U-turn was met with applause, with many former critics thanking the store for reconsidering its position on the matter.
Thank you! As a general rule, keeping books available for purchase regardless of what they are or how horrible they might seem to you is usually the better option.
— Aella (@Aella_Girl) November 14, 2020
Thank you Target! I’m really glad you have restored the book. It’s important to listen to ALL your customers and to leave the practice of book banning in the past where it belongs!
— Kathleen (@sockmother) November 13, 2020
However, many saw the sudden about-face as a clear indicator that Target was simply trying to appease public opinion and was not changing course as a matter of principle.
Perhaps some more backbone is in order by Target. That’s a lot of power to give to a single customer based on their feelings.
— Howard G (@Bossmustangfan) November 13, 2020
Several comments argued that it was “too late” for apologies and that the corporation had shown its true colors.
Others mocked the tweet as nothing more than a calculated move to retain customers.
Hold on, ill translate.
"Target pulled a book based on the rantings of a few deranged individuals. Upon further reflection, we realized normal Americans spend far more at target annually than a few wokerati protestors. So we want your money back please"
— Capybara_of_Sherwood (@Ashaldaron) November 13, 2020
The company is now making “excuses” because it didn’t expect so much pushback from removing the book, one observer opined.
Twitter users noted that another gender-related book had vanished from Target’s website, and called on the store to do a more thorough job of correcting its “mistakes.”
While you’re fixing mistakes and lapses in judgement… https://t.co/7E0LSDexPs
— The Doctor (@TennantRob) November 14, 2020
Whatever its motivations, Target is not the first company to change its tune regarding PC-motivated policies.
Grocery chain Trader Joe’s announced in August that it planned to keep its supposedly “racist” product labels, after initially signaling that it would rebrand the “offensive” packaging in response to an online petition.
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