News: Target Denies Blackballing Frank Ocean's "Channel Orange"

Friday, Jul 13, 2012 6:14PM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

Mega retailer Target has answered claims which suggest it blackballed R&B singer Frank Ocean's new Channel Orange album in light of his publicized bi-sexuality.

Target said it does not decide on artists' shelf lives based on their lifestyles.

In response, Target issued a statement to Billboard.biz that reads: "The claims made about Target's decision to not carry the Frank Ocean album are absolutely false. Target supports inclusivity and diversity in every aspect of our business. Our assortment decisions are based on a number of factors, including guest demand. Target has a longstanding tradition of supporting music and artistry that reflects the diverse landscape of American culture. Our history of partnering with diverse artists includes recent partnerships with a variety of musicians, such as Ricky Martin, B.o.B., and Gloria Estefan." (Billboard Biz)

Earlier this week, Ocean confirmed Target would fall back on carrying his new LP.

"album won't be available at target. blame it on a generational gap. best buy on deck though.," he tweeted Wednesday (July 11). (Frank Ocean's Twitter)

The singer's manager recently hinted at why Target may have pulled from carrying the LP.

Target will not be carrying Frank Ocean's debut studio album, "Channel Orange," in response to the label's decision to sell it ahead of its scheduled release date via iTunes -- not due to Ocean's sexuality -- according to statements from the company and Ocean's manager. iTunes is the sole digital seller of the album until July 17. Ocean admitted in a recent Tumblr post that he had a past romantic relationship with a man. In a tweet early Tuesday, Ocean's manager, Christian Clancy, implied that the admission influenced Target's decision not to carry the album, although he quickly deleted the Tweet and has since recanted. (Billboard)

The singer's unexpected move to drop Channel Orange exclusively through iTunes a week in advance sparked Target's withdraw.

According to Ocean's manager, Christian Clancy, the early release of Channel Orange means that Target will no longer stock the physical version of the album when it is released next Tuesday. Though, the way he sees it, that decision may also have something to do with his client's recent revelation. "Target has refused to carry Frank's album because of iTunes exclusive," Clancy wrote in a (since-deleted) tweet. "Interesting since they also donate to non-equal rights organizations." (MTV)

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