Retail giant Target Corporation has apologized for a line of Father’s Day greeting cards sporting messages to “Baby Daddies” after shoppers complained the company was celebrating absentee fathers in the black community.
The retailer pulled the cards produced by greeting card company American Greetings after black shoppers began sharing images of the cards on social media.
The term “baby daddy” is often applied to a man who fathers a child but then refuses to stay with his mother. Baby daddies are often deadbeat fathers, as well, leaving mothers without financial assistance.
Target pulled the cards, which were sold in about 900 stores, and apologized for stocking the item.
“We want all guests to feel welcomed and respected when they shop at Target,” Target spokesperson Joshua Thomas said in a statement published by USA Today. “We were made aware of some concerns about this card last week and are working with our vendor to have it removed from Target stores. We appreciate the feedback and apologize. It’s never our intent to offend any of our guests with the products we sell.”
The publisher of the cards also apologized for the misunderstanding the card fosters.
American Greetings insisted that the card is meant to celebrate a “loving father,” but the company agreed the cover of the card could be taken out of context.
“This particular card was created for, and addressed to, a loving husband — which the inside copy makes clear,” the card publisher said in a statement, adding:
However, we now see that the front page, taken out of context, can communicate an unintentional meaning that we are strongly against perpetuating and is not consistent with our company purpose and values. We should do better in the future, and we will. We have notified our store merchandisers to remove the card from the shelves and apologize for any offense we’ve caused.
A typical complaint was posted to Facebook by Target shopper and Texas resident Takeisha Saunders, who was shocked that the phrase “Baby Daddy” was imposed over a photo of a black couple kissing:
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.