Calif. Gov. Newsom Accuses Target CEO of ‘Selling Out’ to Extremists by Pulling LGBTQ Merchandise

California Gov. Gavin Newsom blasts Target CEO Brian Cornell for removing Pride merchandise from some stores.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

California Gov. Gavin Newsom mocked Target CEO Brian Cornell as a "real profile in courage" for removing some Pride merchandise from stores, accusing the top executive of "selling out the LGBTQ+ community to extremists."

The retail chain announced on Tuesday that it would remove and reposition some Pride Month merchandise from stores after employees were confronted by customers.

”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," the company said in a statement.

Newsom, a Democrat, said the backlash against the retailer isn't confined to certain stores in the South but represents "a systematic attack on the gay community happening across the country."

"Wake up America," he said in a posting on Twitter Tuesday evening.

"This doesn’t stop here. You’re black? You’re Asian? You’re Jewish? You’re a woman?" the governor said. "You’re next."

And he also singled out the CEO personally.

"Brian Cornell selling out the LGBTQ+ community to extremists is a real profile in courage," Newsom said.

Target found itself the focus of customers' ire for selling "tuck friendly" swimsuits designed to allow trans women who have not had gender affirming surgeries conceal their private parts.

Critics said the store is marketing the suits to children.

The Messenger on Wednesday reported on a video that went viral of an encounter between some Target workers and a man who accused the company of being involved in the "sexualization of kids through Pride propaganda."

The video, originally posted in February, shows a man holding a children's T-shirt that says "Pride" in rainbow letters and berating employees about the store stocking "Satanic pride propaganda."

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