If you’re aware of the antics of controversial rap group Odd Future, you’ve likely heard the name Frank Ocean before. Ocean made headlines around the globe as he addressed his sexuality in an open letter to the world. Days later, his debut album “Channel Orange” dropped to overwhelming critical acclaim. It seems not everyone is as hyped with Ocean’s new release though, especially executives at Target.
The retail giant announced earlier that it would not be stocking Channel Orange, citing the decision was a reaction to iTunes’ one-week exclusive. However, to most that seems like a poor excuse, and has left many wondering if Target simply won’t sell the disc because of Ocean’s recent coming out.
There is some fairness to Target’s claim, as the album itself was released a week early, meaning traditional retail stores would lose out on the first, and arguably, the most vital week of sales.
In response, Target sent the following statement to Billboard:
“The claims made about Target’s decision to not carry the Frank Ocean album are absolutely false. Target supports inclusivity and diversity in every aspect of our business. Our assortment decisions are based on a number of factors, including guest demand. Target has a longstanding tradition of supporting music and artistry that reflects the diverse landscape of American culture. Our history of partnering with diverse artist includes recent partnerships with a variety of musicians, such as Ricky Martin, B.o.B., and Gloria Estefan.”
A fair claim, although I’m not sure what name-dropping artists like Ricky Marin has to do with this incident, other than the fact that he is also gay. In any case, Target must have known that the decision to not carry Ocean’s album would throw them into a wave of controversy, and perhaps that’s exactly what they wanted. At least you know, if you’re looking to pick up a copy of Channel Orange, you won’t find it at Target.