Artists, critics and pundits have been coming out of the woodworks over the past week praising pop singer-songwriter Frank Ocean for declaring on his tumblr that he was once in love with a man. (Ocean, however, has never officially come out as a gay man, whatever that means.)
But it seems he has few fans among the suits who run box store chain Target.
The store has decided not to stock Ocean’s new album, Channel Orange, which feature songs about Ocean’s sexuality.
But sexuality had nothing to do with the decision, a Target rep tells Hollyscoop.com.
“We focus on offering our guests a wide assortment of physical CDs,” reads a statement released by Target Communications Manager, Erica Julkowski. “So our selection of new releases is dedicated to physical CDs rather than titles that are released digitally in advance of the street date.”
The store claims that since Channel Orange already was available on iTunes a week prior to its July 17 disc release date, it wouldn’t be a good seller.
Perhaps it’s a way to discourage record companies and artists for posting LPs online ahead of time? Frankly, that train left the station a long time ago, which suggests Target’s reason is simply a smokescreen. Especially since according to HollyScoop, the chain carries other albums which have previously been made available on iTunes.
Target reps bristled at the suggestion the store has some kind of anti-LGBT agenda in a second statement released to HollyScoop.
“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.
“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.”
In 2011, Target made headlines when Lady Gaga pulled out of a partnership deal with the store for a Lady Gaga Target deluxe album because in 2010 the store supported anti-gay marriage Minnesota Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer to the tune of a $150,000 donation to fund campaign ads.
Her Gagaship’s protest came some time after Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel wrote an open letter in August 2010 apologizing for the donation.
Ocean, in the meanwhile, will peform July 25 at Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden in Philly. Alas, friends, it's sold out.