Reports suggest that music star Lady Gaga has broken ties with stockist Target over the chain’s refusal to stop political donations to anti-LGBT politicians.
A source close to Lady Gaga confirms to The Advocate that the entertainer has dissolved her deal with Target over the chain’s controversial political donations. “She and Target didn’t see eye to eye on Target’s policy of political donations and how they affect the LGBT community,” the source tells The Advocate exclusively.
The Advocate was tipped off that the deal had crumbled by Bob Witeck of Witeck-Combs Communications.
Target has come under fire from LGBT rights groups after it was revealed last year that the discount store giant had donated funds to MN Forward, a group that directly supported anti-gay candidate Tom Emmer in his failed 2010 run for governor of Minnesota.
Lady Gaga, who has had global success with hits like Poker Face, Bad Romance and has caused a buzz with latest single Born This Way, is an avid supporter of various causes but has chiefly been heard as a voice for LGBT rights.
As such, Lady Gaga raised concerns among her large group of LGBT fans when it was announced that she would be creating an exclusive deal with Target for the sale of her new record. It appears now, however, that the deal was always a tense one.
Carmen Cacciatore, co-founder of Fly-Life marketing agency, announced this afternoon that the earlier reported deal between Target Corp. and Lady Gaga was dissolved this past week.
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.”
Lady Gaga has said in recent interviews that the deal with Target was conditional and included a stipulation that the company must improve its relationship with the LGBT community by donating to LGBT charities and by ending political donations to anti-gay candidates.
Gaga raised eyebrows among her gay fans when she announced that Target would be releasing an exclusive edition of her new album, Born This Way.
Gaga had said she had signed off on her deal after meeting with Target executives.
“That discussion was one of the most intense conversations I’ve ever had in a business meeting,” Gaga told Billboard magazine about three weeks ago. “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.”
It now appears the deal has gone sour, with multiple sources speculating that the deal’s collapse may be in connection with Target’s refusal to end all donations to anti-gay candidates and initiatives.
Target has yet to issue a response*.
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*UPDATE: A Target spokesman has released the following statement (via Pink News):
“We were very surprised and disappointed by the statements made by Lady Gaga’s organization related to her partnership with Target. Target remains committed to the LGBT community as demonstrated by our contributions to various LGBT organizations, our recently established Policy Committee to review our political giving and our respectful, inclusive workplace environment.”