Lady Gaga Takes Target to Task for Little LGBT Monsters

From Truth Dig: http://www.truthdig.com/arts_culture/item/lady_gaga_takes_target_to_task_20110222/

So, Lady Gaga struck a deal with Target to release a special version of her new album, “Born This Way,” which rankled some of her core devotees, as the retail giant had made a supersized slip-up in the political arena with contributions to a political action committee linked to an anti-gay candidate in Minnesota. However, it seems that Gaga was a step ahead of her would-be critics on this one, as she made a special arrangement with Target before signing on the dotted line.  —KA

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.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.truthdig.com/arts_culture/item/lady_gaga_takes_target_to_task_20110222/

Target’s Public Relations Vice President On Company’s Relationship With Lady Gaga, LGBT Initiatives

From Billboard: http://www.billboard.biz/bbbiz/industry/retail/target-s-public-relations-vice-president-1005042332.story?imw=Y

February 18, 2011 – Record Labels | Retail | Rock & Pop

By Bill Werde (@bwerde on Twitter)

What follows is an edited transcript of Billboard Editorial Director Bill Werde’s interview with Target Vice President of Public Relations Dustee Tucker Jenkins, regarding the company’s partnership with Lady Gaga to release an exclusive edition of the singer’s forthcoming “Born This Way” LP.

WERDE: During my interview with Lady Gaga, I said, “I think some people are confused about your deal with Target, because the company has a track record of financially supporting some politicians who haven’t been so friendly to the issues of some of your fans, and yet that’s who you ended up doing a retail deal with. I think it would be meaningful if you wanted to address it.” She said, “Part of my deal with Target is that they have to start affiliating themselves with LGTB charity groups, and begin to reform and make amends for the mistakes they’ve made in the past. And that was one of the most intense conversations I’ve ever had in a business meeting. I wasn’t comfortable with it at first. But [manager] Troy [Carter] and I sat down with them and we had a wonderful meeting. I don’t want to say too much, but I can say that our relationship is hinged upon their reforming the company to support the gay community and to redeem the mistakes they’ve made in the past in supporting those groups.” So that’s pretty specific: She said she had a conversation with the entire executive group, she said her relationship with Target is hinged upon reforming the company to support the gay community, and to redeem the mistakes they’ve made in the past in supporting those groups. I don’t believe she’s really spoken about this before, and I want to make sure that we properly contextualize it, that we represent it fairly.

JENKINS: We appreciate the opportunity to set the record straight. I can talk about what she said specifically. But maybe let me take a step back and just help you understand. As you know, Target has partnered with a variety of different artists: the Black Eyed Peas, Keith Urban, Taylor Swift [among others]. So we’ve partnered as a company with a variety of different artists, and we’re constantly looking for artists that appeal to our shoppers — we call our shoppers “guests.” And when you look at who our guests are, that represents a variety of different perspectives, types of music, and one thing that we really appreciated about Gaga from the beginning is that her fanbase is unmatched. Target as a company has had a strong commitment to fostering an [equitable] culture, and we look to promote diversity in everything we do. So understand that we are a company with 350,000 team members across the United States. So at the heart of that company are various perspectives, various backgrounds. And someone like Lady Gaga showcases a broad range of those different hearts and minds of our guests, as well as our team members. So we were thrilled about this opportunity to do the partnership.

We’ve also as a company had a long history of giving back to our community. We give 5% each week back to our communities in various forms, and that equates to about $3 million a week. So it’s a sizable amount for any corporation, and it’s been a commitment that we’ve had since the company’s founding. We have recently said internally that we have always supported various organizations within the LGBT community, but we have committed to almost half a million dollars already for 2011. So, and I can give you some of the groups specifically that we’re supporting. And that’s Project 515

Continue reading at:  http://www.billboard.biz/bbbiz/industry/retail/target-s-public-relations-vice-president-1005042332.story?imw=Y

One Response to “Lady Gaga Takes Target to Task for Little LGBT Monsters”

  1. Andrea B. Says:

    Hmm, turning target round.

    I did not expect that to ever happen, short of federal legislation.

    Target will have to go along with this after agreeing it, as having Lady Gaga attack them publicly would do serious damage to them.

    The flip side of this, is that the most extreme religious people who support Target will turn against Target, forcing Target further along the path Gaga has set them on.

    Money talks and in this case I think Gaga got money to say the right thing.

    Well done Lady Gaga.

    She is proving to be more interesting every day.


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