Report: Target CEO out when transgender policy made public

Thursday, April 6, 2017
 | 
Chris Woodward (OneNewsNow.com)

Target emblem with rainbowA news report on Wednesday has brought to light new information about Target's announcement and promotion of its controversial policy for bathrooms and changing rooms that spawned the now one-year-long boycott of the retailer.

In April 2016, Target published a blog welcoming transgender employees and customers to use restrooms and changing rooms for the gender in which they say they identify. The blog was in response to North Carolina's passage of a "bathroom" law; but according to the Wall Street Journal, Target published the blog without CEO Brian Cornell's approval. In fact, WSJ says Cornell was surprised to learn about it and told colleagues he would not have approved the decision to flaunt the policy, one that several retailers have but do not promote.

After the policy was announced, American Family Association announced a boycott of Target. AFA's concern since the initiation of the boycott hasn't been about transgender people, but rather sexual predators who take – and have taken – advantage of the policy.

"This [report] is revealing because it shows that the CEO of Target, who is supposed to be in charge of decisions like this, didn't even know that this decision was going to be made," says AFA's Walker Wildmon. "He was out of the office that day and returned only to find out that someone below him approved this. So I think this is very telling to show the miscommunication in Target headquarters."

Since Target's policy announcement, there have been police and news reports of voyeurism and other issues, many occurring in Target stores (see "Bathroom Incidents" report [PDF] from Family Research Council). These include a recent report of a peeping Tom at a changing area in a Knoxville Target. Police in Knoxville told NBC affiliate WBIR that surveillance video shows the suspect – who fled the store after being caught in the act – may have spied on people in a changing area for more than an hour.

In summer 2016, Target announced it was adding private bathrooms to the stores lacking such facilities. That announcement has been viewed as a compromise of sorts.

Wildmon

"What the 'compromise' that Target is trying to reach is they're adding single-stall unisex options for anyone to use, but they're keeping their dangerous policy, which allows men access to women's facilities," Wildmon says. "We're wanting them to not only add unisex options, but also reverse the policy and have separate sex changing facilities and restrooms."

On that subject, sources tell Wall Street Journal that Target CEO Cornell was told he can't take back the policy. They add Cornell "felt very stuck," but Wildmon says it's "absolutely" not too late.

"... We would encourage Target to reverse this dangerous policy and we've been stating that since Day One of the boycott," he adds. "And this story proves that internally at the Target headquarters they know that they made a mistake and that they should take it back. I think it would serve them well if they reverse this policy."

Target's foot traffic has been down since the boycott began, as has the retailer's stock value. Published reports suggest Amazon has taken business away from Target, but AFA believes the boycott also is a factor.


Editor's Note: The American Family Association is the parent organization of the American Family News Network, which operates OneNewsNow.com.

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