Customers threaten to boycott Target over “offensive” decision to remove Batgirl t-shirt from sale

Target

Source: AAP Image/Paul Miller

Target has removed a kids’ ‘Batgirl’ themed T-shirt from sale after customers complained it was sexist, but the retailer is now facing backlash from angry shoppers who had promised the shirt to their children.

A customer posted to Target’s Facebook page on Tuesday night to complain about the girl’s t-shirt which lists a ‘Batgirl’ to-do list that puts ‘Dryclean Cape’ and ‘Wash Batmobile’ ahead of ‘Fight Crime’.

Target then apologised for the shirt and said in a statement that they have removed it from sale.

But the move has angered a group of shoppers who are “highly offended” by the decision to remove the product, upset by the brand’s “political correctness” and decision to fold to a group of upset parents.

“I am highly offended by the decision,” said one shopper.

“Do you decide what all girls/females wear or just certain ones??? How dare you make that decision for me, where are my rights to buy that shirt?”

Target customer service have been responding to angered shoppers on Facebook this morning, confirming the shirt is no longer available for sale online or in store. Many shoppers have complained that they either promised to buy the shirt for their children, or had it on lay-by and were now unsure if they could make the purchase.

“Thanks for reaching out to us. We appreciate you stopping by to share your thoughts with us today,” was the standard response from the Target team.

“My family, friends and myself will all be boycotting Target until you bring the batgirl shirt back!” wrote another shopper, while others asked for it to be made in adult sizes.

Many social media complaints pointed out there was not enough super hero themed girls clothing on offer in the first place and it was unfair for the retailer to cut this option, calling for more “backbone” from the brand.

Michelle Gamble of Marketing Angels says it is important for Target to keep driving home that the decision was made to avoid the view of gender stereotypes.

“I mean, men drop off stuff at the dry cleaners, they also wash their cars. You could have had a boy’s shirt that said exactly the same thing,” she says.

“But now Target would have to tell customers that the reason for the removal was that they take their customers seriously and the brand doesn’t want to be seen to perpetuate any kind of gender stereotypes.”

Some customers will always be upset by decisions that a company makes, and it is important to make note of that, says Gamble.

“Acknowledge that it’s disappointing,” she says.

“Maybe offer a gift voucher or something to people who are upset, but ultimately you have to say ‘it’s not good for the brand to be seen to be promoting a negative stereotype’”.

A spokesperson for Target told SmartCompany the decision to remove the shirt was made “after listening to our customers”. Despite the social media feedback, there is no plan to reverse the decision and it will stay out of stores.

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Grant Green
Grant Green
4 years ago

Poor company, damned no matter what they do…

Jan Deane
Jan Deane
4 years ago

Ridiculous over-reaction from the usual suspects.

Colin Spencer
Colin Spencer
4 years ago

Target marketing management have to look at such complaints as opportunities not problems. With a typical response: “Thank you for bringing this issue to our notice. We have ordered from our suppliers an urgent shipment of boys tee shirts with their own list of chores that need to be remembered before they go out to save the world from crime”. As a gesture of our appreciation for your contribution to the way we improve Targets’ constant quest to advance customer satisfaction, we enclose a $10 discount coupon which you can claim against your next purchase from our stores.” Now all of those Mums will have to buy two tee shirts instead of one. But, surely, making two children happy, instead of just one, has to be a plus?

Maud Crossing
Maud Crossing
4 years ago

There will always be some who are offended by some actions of some others. Target’s action of removing a legitimate item from its salable merchandise was not wise. In this world of out of control political correctness, Target has fallen victim to its own weakness of not standing firm on what it thinks is OK to sell. And if an item offends a weak kneed minority – so be it. The “fun police” must not be allowed to indoctrinate our children away from valued long held traditions.

GB
GB
4 years ago
Reply to  Maud Crossing

What are you talking about? Fun Police? Would they have it on a boy’s shirt? Of course not. I am not precious by any stretch and could quite easily ignore the shirt, but the concept that anyone who speaks out against indoctrinated sexism is the ‘fun police is absurd. You are what is wrong with the world.

BJG
BJG
4 years ago
Reply to  GB

If it had been on a boys T-shirt it probably would not have raised a comment…

Maud Crossing
Maud Crossing
4 years ago
Reply to  GB

What is wrong with the world is now in Target stores (in the US) men are allowed to use the restroom next to your daughter. Once called perverted, this is now a “civil right.” Seems the world has gone mad with a new term called inclusiveness, to cater for less than 1% of the population while infuriating the other 99%.

http://www.thepoliticalinsider.com/breaking-target-stores-make-massive-announcement-parents-furious/

Sab Clarke
Sab Clarke
4 years ago
Reply to  GB

Interestingly enough, the design is actually a ripoff of a boys t-shirt that has been available for a few years:
https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/b1/82/53/b18253a1a081f934c94015239d768789.jpg
But please don’t let facts get in the way of your outrage.

ronno
ronno
4 years ago

feminism is cancer.

helma Parkin
helma Parkin
4 years ago

How pathic can you get and I wonder if Lowe’s Fathers Day shirt affend this silly people.. i gues to My Golly would affend them to.

Andy Dent
4 years ago

Simple suggestion to make it less offensive (I would have complained about a suggestion girls put laundry ahead of fighting crime!).

Reword the list:
– Fight Crime
– Iron Bat Cape
– Tune Batmobile
– Fight Crime

Batperson’s day starts and ends with fighting crime and girls don’t just wash cars.

Oh, and then DO A BOYS SHIRT WITH THE SAME LIST!

Patrick W
Patrick W
4 years ago
Reply to  Andy Dent

Your list doesn’t make any sense. The whole joke of the t-shirt was you have to get your cape dry-cleaned and wash your car before you can go out and save the world. You are proposing that Batgirl fight crime with a wrinkled cape.

Also there is nothing whatsoever stereotypically female about taking stuff to the dry cleaners or washing the car — men do these things as much or more than women. The manufactured outrage over this shirt is just another example of the tyranny of the politically correct who can’t sleep at night if they haven’t censored something recently.

Steve Palmer
Steve Palmer
4 years ago

We’re a precious little lot.

jota6689
jota6689
4 years ago

a rubbish and incorrect response. It was a to do list NOT a list of priorities. Sadly the cretins get their way again. But it also shows that companies need to pay up for better advice – employ the older heads with experience rather than the kids that have no idea

Bird bath
Bird bath
4 years ago

I want a tee shirt that says PC is BS