In a homophobic and transphobic rant, far-right commentator Candace Owens called on conservatives to boycott Target over their Pride merchandise and declared that anyone who shops at the company's stores is "gay" and a "pervert."
Target is facing customer backlash over its Pride Collection and has decided to remove certain products from its stores. The company cites employee safety concerns as the primary reason for this action. Its Pride Collection includes a diverse range of over 2,000 products, such as clothing, books, music, and home furnishings.
However, some items, including those associated with the LGBTQ+ brand Abprallen and its designer Erik Carnell, have sparked intense criticism on social media platforms.
Speaking on her Daily Wire podcast, Owens erroneously suggested boycotting the company is justified because Carnell—who has designed merchandise featuring images of pentagrams, horned skulls, and other Satanic symbols—is a "Satanist" who acknowledges that "transgenderism is, in fact, satanic."
You can hear what she said in the video below.
"What I can appreciate, at the very least, about someone like Eric Carnell, is that at least he's acknowledging that transgenderism is, in fact, satanic. It is a perversion of the truth. It is meant to harm people."
"It is meant to target – pun very much intended – children with this harmful ideology, it is meant to convince them to commit to decisions that will ultimately ruin their lives."
She went on to opine that Target has bowed to conservative backlash to avoid being "Bud Lighted," a reference to the transphobic backlash to the company's partnership with influencer Dylan Mulvaney that has caused sales of the brand to decline:
"Conservatives have responded to Target by saying, 'We will not shop there. We are planning to boycott Target.' And guess what's happened? Well, the alarms went off at Targets."
"The CEO and other directors on their team met because they are concerned that they must get – that they might become Bud Lighted, which is to say that they can completely sink their company because they have committed to this ideology." ...
"[Conservatives] cannot just be the individuals that lament and complain and try to explain that the world is all going into a horrible direction and yet we do nothing about it in our personal capacity. We cannot continue to be those individuals."
She later added:
"As I said, we have them backed into a corner, and now is absolutely the time for us to pounce. So do not shop at Target or else you're gay and you're a pervert. And that's all I have to say about that."
Many have condemned Owens' remarks.
Owens has a long history of making transphobic statements.
In 2017, Owens stated she was in favor of banning transgender individuals who are undergoing sex reassignment surgery from serving in the United States military, but said that she did not oppose fully transitioned transgender individuals serving in the military.
Last year, she falsely promoted the conspiracy theory that a mass shooter at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas could be transgender and baselessly said that he was "cross-dressing." Owens claimed this could be evidence the shooter "was mentally disturbed."
And just three months ago she was severely criticized after she said she would beat her hypothetical grandkids with a cane if they came out to her as transgender.