Lady Gaga Spanks Target

Target plans to sell an exclusive edition of Lady Gaga’s forthcoming album, Born This Way, with remixes and three additional studio cuts. The release is scheduled for May.

However, the love between Gaga and Target is dependent on Target’s good behavior.

Many Gaga fans were alarmed at her partnership with the mega-retailer. Target came under fire by LGBT activists last year for donating corporate funds to support MN Forward, a political action committee that supported anti-gay candidate Tom Emmer in his failed 2010 run for governor of Minnesota.

While Target’s CEO issued an apology to the public and Target employees for the support of Emmer, further donations to the political right – and specifically to candidates with anti-gay voting records – were made.

However, Billboard is reporting that Gaga took the retailer to task in a meeting that included, by her description,  “the entire executive staff” of Target, along with her own manager.

“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.”

In response, Target management says it has created a new “policy committee” to review such matters. Additionally, Target directed Billboard to a page on Target’s corporate site that had “in the last week or two” posted new guidelines for Target’s political contributions.

The retailer’s communications director says Target is now committed to being more “thoughtful” – Billboard says she used the word 11 times in a half-hour interview – about the issue of political donations.

In all fairness, Target does good things for the LGBT community too and the Billboard article highlights some of those. There are also links on Billboard to transcripts of the entire meeting between Gaga and Target, in which she repeatedly stated her support of her fan base: “Whatever you can do to assure my fans and the gay community that I have their back, please do.”

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