Straight to the point: Mega retailer Target is refusing to sell one of the most anticipated R&B releases in the past couple of years, Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange.
For those of you not fresh to Frank Ocean, he recently came out of the closet quite elegantly via a post on his Tumblr page. This is also a bold move considering his affiliation with Odd Future and being involved in the urban aspect of the music industry, which can close doors quickly to the LGBTQ community.
Originally, the chain stated their reason for not carrying the product was based upon Ocean’s team’s decision to release the highly acclaimed album exclusively on iTunes a week before it’s official release. Now, they’ve amped up their response, stating this conclusion is “based on a number of factors, including guest demand.” Which is an interesting move considering the album’s currently number one in ten countries.
We would also like to note that Jay-Z & Kanye West’s Watch The Throne was released digitally a week earlier, but Target had no issue with placing the standard and deluxe editions on their shelves.
A member of Frank’s team Tweeted: “Target has refused to carry Franks album because of Itunes exclusive. Interesting since they also donate to non equal rights organizations.”
Then, an apology followed: ”I apologize for my comments about Target. They are not carrying Frank’s album because it went digital first. Not for ANY other reason. … My response was simply an emotional knee jerk reaction. … Stop. Breath. Do the best you can. Be honest. Keep it moving.”
We’re unsure of the entire motives of pulling the Frank Ocean release from Target stores, and while we’re hoping that sexual orientation and content has nothing to do with the motives behind it, we’re not so certain…Regardless, get the album. It’s great.
On a personal note: I’ve stated before that I have day jobs outside of blogging and music (for now…). For two years, I dedicated a day job to Target. During my stay was when the company was outed for donating $150,000 to politicians who support anti-gay campaigns, when Lady Gaga pulled out of releasing an exclusive Target edition of Born This Way because of it, and other oddly homophobic seeming practices.
At the height of the problems, and before Gaga stepped in to shut them up, the company placed a poster in the break room, on the refrigerator, filled with fabricated statements about how they welcome diversity in the LGBTQ community. It was weird propaganda, and one of the main professional reasons for my decision on ultimately leaving the company.
From a business standpoint, music, business in general, etc, it’s interesting to see the Public Relations mess Target has continued to be a part of within the LGBTQ community and the methods they go through to make it better, while making it worse with actions like these which clearly cause fingers to be pointed.