Designer at Center of Target Boycott Speaks Out
Erik Carnell, a UK-based designer and owner of the company Abprallen, has been embroiled in controversy following his design of several items for Target’s 2023 Pride season. Subsequent to his announcement on Instagram, he was labeled a “satanist” by some conservative voices due to the appearance of satanic references in a small part of his collection. Despite this, none of these controversial items were included in Target’s Pride Month collection. Carnell argues that his critics have manipulated facts to serve their narrative and attract attention.
Target has been at the center of a debate, with calls from conservative individuals to boycott the retail giant over items in their 2023 Pride collection. The company was also criticized for allegedly selling “tuck-friendly” swimsuits, garments that transgender women can use to conceal their genitals if they haven’t undergone gender-affirming surgery. Conservative commentator Matt Walsh condemned Target’s actions, implying they were worse than Bud Light’s recent controversial commemorative can tribute to transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney.
Carnell, during an interview with the Daily Dot, clarified that he did not design these “tuck-friendly” items. His critics, such as CPAC host Mercedes Schlapp and the conservative online magazine The Federalist, have not only labeled him a “satanist”, but have also accused him of supporting evil through his designs and wanting to “eradicate” critics of transgenderism. Schlapp urged Christians and religious individuals to boycott Target, while a tweet from The Federalist implicated both Target and Carnell in endorsing satanism.
Contrary to these accusations, Carnell stated to the Daily Dot that he does not believe in Satan. He explained, “I don’t believe in the Bible…It’s a metaphor.” At the time of reporting, Target had not responded to Newsweek’s request for comment on the ongoing controversy.