Lady Gaga to Target: Make Nice With Gay Community

The singer reportedly met with Target's "entire executive staff" to convey her expectations for the company before agreeing to a distribution partnership for her new album, Born This Way.

Lady Gaga wants Target Corporation to make amends with the gay community-and the popular singer claims that her recently announced partnership with the Minneapolis-based retailer was made with that stipulation.

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.

Earlier this month, Target announced that it has partnered with Lady Gaga to offer shoppers an exclusive edition of her new album, Born This Way, which comes out in May. The deluxe edition includes three additional studio songs and five remixes-and it will be available only at Target stores nationwide and at Fans can preorder the deluxe album until midnight on Saturday.

Lady Gaga reportedly met with Target's “entire executive staff” before agreeing to the partnership. Billboard 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.

Dustee Jenkins, Target's vice president of communications, told Billboard that she “didn't think” Lady Gaga's feedback had resulted in direct policy change but said that the singer was one of many voices that Target had listened to in order to gain a better understanding of issues concerning the LGBT community.

To read the entire Billboard story, click here.