Target CEO Admits Bathroom Policy Announcement Was Huge Mistake

Target CEO regrets his decision to allow transgender people to choose their restrooms of their choice.
Target CEO regrets his decision to allow transgender people to choose their restrooms of their choice. (Mike Mozart/Flickr/CC)

A very damaging article just out from the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) clearly shows that Target CEO Brian Cornell regrets his company's policy announcement welcoming men to use women's restrooms and fitting rooms.

WSJ interviewed a representative from the American Family Association (AFA), who launched the immensely successful #BoycottTarget initiative nearly a year ago. The 1.5 million-signature boycott has sent the strong message to the retailer that its misguided and potentially dangerous bathroom policy is the reason millions of families are no longer shopping there.

According to the article, Cornell expressed frustration about how the bathroom policy was publicized without his permission or knowledge, and told colleagues he wouldn't have approved the decision to flaunt it with a public statement that is still on Target's website today.

WSJ reported that Cornell told staff that "Target didn't adequately assess the risk, and the ensuing backlash [AFA boycott] was self-inflicted." (Read the entire WSJ article here; subscription required.)

The WSJ article also explained that Target headquarters sent an internal memo to store managers reiterating its official stance on men using women's facilities. On April 15, 2016, a group Target calls its "risk committee" emailed executives informing them of a plan to post that message publicly. Cornell wasn't among the recipients of that email, but at least two Target executives approved the post.

"The American Family Association Target boycott has wreaked internal havoc at Target," said AFA President Tim Wildmon. "Out-of-touch executives incorrectly assumed that the backlash would die down, but we can see today—with plummeting stock prices and decreased traffic in stores—that it certainly has not.

"Together we are making an unprecedented financial impact on a corporation whose policy is to allow men to use women's restrooms and dressing rooms," Wildmon added. "Target's decision is unacceptable for families, and its dangerous and misguided policy continues to put women and children in harm's way."

AFA is urging those concerned to the sign #BoycottTarget pledge by the end of April in order to reach an important threshold of 1.5 million signatures.

"At that point," Wildmon said, "I will personally return to Target headquarters in Minneapolis with an additional 500,000 names. I will then discuss how Target can invite 1.5 million AFA supporters back to its stores by having a common-sense bathroom and dressing room policy that links use of these rooms to a person's biological sex so that predators no longer have a method to prey on innocent victims."

AFA is offering several ways to reach 1.5 million #BoycottTarget signatures:

  • Sign—#BoycottTarget pledge
  • Share—Ask family, friends and church members to sign the pledge. One effective strategy is to voice concerns politely but firmly on Target's Facebook page and other social media sites using #BoycottTarget.
  • Voice concerns on Target's Facebook page or call Target to politely let its executives know you've signed the#BoycottTarget pledge—Guest Relations, (800) 440-0680, option 1, then 1 again.

"As AFA has stated many times, our worries do not stem from fear of the transgender community," added Wildmon, "but rather, from both the real and potential threat that predators and voyeurs would take advantage of the Target bathroom policy to harm women and children—and there are plenty of incidents to show that they have."


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