Artists Accuse Target of Not Compensating Them for Pride Collection

In a recent development, several artists who contributed to Target’s annual LGBTQ+ Pride merchandise collection have come forward claiming that they have not received any compensation for their work. This shocking revelation has sparked outrage within the LGBTQ+ community and raised questions about the company’s treatment of artists.

Shanée Benjamin, a well-known artist specializing in bold feminine pieces, took to Instagram to express her disappointment with Target. She revealed that she and three other artists were dropped from the Pride campaign after working on the assets for two years. Benjamin expressed frustration over the company’s decision, stating that she had a large order of 21,000 units that are now sitting in a warehouse in Miami, with only 100 units being available to her.

HeyBeefCake, recognized for his racy prints of muscular cartoon men, also shared his experience of being dropped from a collection for a major company’s 2024 Pride Campaign. He highlighted the lack of compensation and explanation provided to him and other artists who were part of the project. HeyBeefCake urged supporters to shop small and back queer artists in light of these developments.

En Tze Loh, known for their whimsical gothic brand GRRRL Spells, added that they have only been compensated for four designs that Target manufactured, but the details of the compensation remain unclear. They expressed hope for support from the community to produce the full collection independently.

Target, a long-time supporter of Pride Month, has faced backlash for its handling of the Pride collection. Reports indicate that the company has removed some Pride items in certain locations due to safety concerns for employees following conservative backlash. Target’s decision to scale back on Pride merchandise in select stores has been attributed to financial considerations rather than safety concerns.

As the controversy unfolds, questions remain about Target’s treatment of artists and its commitment to the LGBTQ+ community. The Advocate has reached out to Target for comment on the allegations made by the artists. This situation sheds light on the challenges faced by artists in the commercial sphere and underscores the importance of fair compensation and recognition for their work.