Back in February when Lady Gaga announced her deal with Target, gay blogs freaked out. The gay community just wasn’t able to get over the fact that Target and its top executives had made hundreds of thousands of dollars in political donations to anti-gay politicians. And really, we shouldn’t have to. It happened less than a year ago. We’re not even close to over it.
“That discussion was one of the most intense conversations I’ve ever had in a business meeting,” Gaga says. “Part of my deal with Target is that they have to start affiliating themselves with LGBT charity groups and begin to reform and make amends for the mistakes they’ve made in the past…our relationship is hinged upon their reform in the company to support the gay community and to redeem the mistakes they’ve made supporting those groups.”
The big, red bullseye company must have done a pretty awful job at making these LGBT affiliations over the past month, because Lady Gaga has ended her contract with Target.
Bob Witeck of Witeck-Combs Communications was familiar with the dissolved deal, although he does not represent Gaga or any of the parties, and told Metro Weekly, “Despite the expectation that this was all unfolding as a deal, it has been in a sensitive stage of continued discussion for probably the last three weeks.”
He added, “Quite a few people, even early on, were afraid it was going to dissolve.”
Of today’s announcement, Witeck said, “They wanted to make it public now. They decided it was important that people know there is no deal.”
Witeck said, speaking only for himself, “I’m very impressed by her.”
Referring to her LGBT fans, he said, “Throughout this whole process, she has remained true to her audience. I think she’s a person of great integrity, and I think people will recognize that.”
The deal-breaking is sure to fuel the thoughts that while Target may treat its LGBT employees fairly, higher-ups work behind the scenes to advance a political agenda that would see those same “valued employees” remain second-class citizens. Many Target employees have spoken up about what a welcoming environment the company is for gays and lesbians, but that does not negate the fact that the company funds anti-gay (And we’re talking about a politician who was a fan of a song calling on people to “Kill the gays”) organizations and politicians. It’s a huge contradiction.
Lady Gaga certainly felt the anger of a scorned gay community since announcing her partnership with the store. Gay and lesbian fans felt betrayed, and rightfully so. The dissolution of this deal will hopefully go a long way to heal some of the love lost.
I think the real story here is that when the deal was originally announced, Gaga assured us that it was predicated on Target making decisions and donations beneficial to the LGBT community. It was the one condition of the deal she gave Target executives. They obviously did not live up to their commitment. Looks like Target is back on the boycott list.
This news will of course do nothing to win Ricky Martin good press. The openly gay singer also announced a partnership with Target last Fall.
Are you proud of Lady Gaga for ending her deal with Target?