Lady Gaga Axes Album Distribution Deal with Target
Lady Gaga has reportedly dissolved a partnership recently forged with Target Corporation because of the company's controversial political donations.
In early February, Minneapolis-based Target announced that it would team with the popular singer to offer shoppers an exclusive edition of her new album, Born This Way, which comes out in May.
But Lady Gaga stipulated that Target needed to make amends with the gay community when the distribution partnership was formed.
Members of the gay community have been among Lady Gaga's biggest supporters, so the singer was concerned when Target gave $150,000 in August to support MN Forward, according to Billboard magazine. MN Forward is a political action committee that backed Republican Tom Emmer, who opposes gay marriage, in his failed 2010 run for Minnesota governor.
The Advocate reported Tuesday that the distribution deal had crumbled, saying that it had been tipped off by Bob Witeck of Witeck-Combs Communications.
“She and Target didn't see eye to eye on Target's policy of political donations and how they affect the LGBT community,” a “source close to Lady Gaga” told The Advocate.
A Target spokeswoman on Wednesday issued a statement to The Advocate, saying that the company was “very surprised and disappointed” by Lady Gaga's comments related to the partnership.
“Target remains committed to the LGBT community as demonstrated by our contributions to various LGBT organizations, our recently established policy committee to review our political giving and our respectful, inclusive workplace environment,” the spokeswoman said.
Lady Gaga told Billboard last month that she had met with Target's “entire executive staff” before agreeing to the partnership. The magazine said that she wasn't comfortable with the partnership when it first emerged as an option.
“That discussion was one of the most intense conversations I've ever had in a business meeting,” Lady Gaga told Billboard. “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.”
Target recently revised its policy on political contributions. According to a “civic activity” page on the Minneapolis-based retailer's Web site, CEO Gregg Steinhafel and a policy committee consisting of senior executives are now together responsible for vetting and making decisions about political donations. The group's activities are reviewed twice annually by the corporate responsibility committee that's governed by Target's board of directors.