Target stores in at least five states reportedly received bomb threats last weekend as the big-box retailer continues to face regarding LGBTQ Pride merchandise.
Some of the threats reportedly said Target “.”
The Washington Post reported that Target stores in Oklahoma, New York, New Hampshire, Vermont and Louisiana received threats, though no explosives were discovered.
Stores in Ohio, Utah and Pennsylvania had previously received similar threats.
Target has put employee safety at the forefront since customers began complaining about polarizing Pride displays that were planned to be front and center at most target locations. Conservatives were initially annoyed when Pride merchandise for children and adult items, such as , were prominently displayed at the front of stores.
But when Target scaled back the presentation and removed certain items, citing safety concerns, members of the LGBTQ community felt betrayed.
The Post reported that news outlets in Vermont, New Hampshire and New York received a threatening email accusing Target of “betraying the LGBTQ+ community,” citing South Burlington Police Chief Shawn Burke.
The Post buried the alleged motive seven paragraphs into its report.
“I think it had quite an impact locally,” Burke told the Post. “It makes people a little bit uneasy to think about what’s going on.”
Burke did not immediately respond to a request for additional comment.
Why is Target facing backlash?
Target started to bring out items from their “LGBT Pride” collection in preparation for Pride Month in June.
Items from the collection include rainbow-colored onesies for infants and children and bathing suits with “tuck-friendly construction” and “extra crotch coverage.”
After seeing the collection, the public has compared this to the backlash Bud Light faced after its partnership with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney.
Many critics have taken to social media to share their protest of the new collection, with some calling it “inappropriate” and “disturbing.”
SiriusXM podcast host Megyn Kelly and have warned that Target is at risk of losing business.
has dismissed the social media uproar, saying that products are good for business and “the right thing for society.”
In Louisiana, CBS affiliate KLFY reported that a similar email was sent.
“You have betrayed the LGBTQ+ community. You are pathetic cowards who bowed to the wishes of far right extremists who want to exterminate us,” the threatening email said, according to KLFY. “We will not tolerate intolerance nor indifference. If you are not with us then you are against us. That is why we placed a bomb in each of your locations, evacuate now as this is only to cause economic damage.”
NBC’s Oklahoma City affiliate, KFOR, reported it received a threatening email on Saturday.
“We are going to play a game,” the email said before adding the address of multiple Target locations. “2 of these Target locations have bomb in them. We hid bombs inside some product items. The bombs will detonate in several hours, guess which ones have the bombs. Time is ticking. 4/19/1995.”
April 19, 1995 is the date of the heinous Oklahoma City domestic terrorist attack.
The stores were deemed safe after no explosives were found.
Target did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Earlier this month, a Target insider told Fox News Digital that it’s devastating having innocent staffers being forced to defend the big-box store from angry customers on both sides of the Pride issue.
Most rank-and-file employees were left in the dark about changes, with many not knowing the Pride sections would be moved and items would be pulled until they noticed it themselves.
“The decisions are made high above us and staffers have no say,” the insider said.
Fox News Digital first reported that Target planned to after the company insider said executives wanted to avoid a “Bud Light situation” after widespread customer backlash.
“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 last month.
It has also been revealed that Target partnered with GLSEN, a K-12 education group that focuses on getting districts to adopt policies that will keep parents in the dark about their child’s in-class gender transition, providing sexually explicit books to schools for free and integrating gender ideology at all levels of curricula in public schools.
GLSEN, which has signage inside Target stores’ Pride displays, has received at least $2.1 million in donations from Target.
Separately, the retailer’s Pride collection has been linked to , who is an outspoken Satanist whose brand features occult imagery and messages like “Satan respects pronouns” on brand apparel.
over $15.7 billion since the backlash began last month.
Fox News’ Hannah Grossman and Kristine Parks contributed to this report.