SAJJAD PURVEZ - Lady Gaga pulls plug on exclusivity deal with Target
09-Mar-2011 | News-Press Release
The flamboyant pop star has scrapped her deal with the Minneapolis-based retail giant to carry the deluxe edition of her next release, "Born This Way," according to the Advocate, a leading national publication that covers GLBT [gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender] issues.
The rift stems over Target's corporate donations to the MN Forward political action committee. That PAC supported the 2010 gubernatorial candidacy of Tom Emmer, who gay and lesbian advocates viewed as unsympathetic to their causes.
At 8:30 a.m. CST, visitors to Target.com could still order the deluxe edition, which includes the standard tracks along with three new songs and five remixes. Later Wednesday morning, the online option was no longer functioning.
The title cut single has been released and quickly became a gay-rights anthem of sorts. The full album in all forms is scheduled to debut in late May.
"She and Target didn't see eye to eye on Target's policy of political donations and how they affect" the GLBT community, Bob Witeck of Witeck-Combs Communications, told the Advocate.
Late last month, the singer and a Target executive both spoke with music industry publication Billboard magazine, and it appeared that the two sides were in harmony.
In return for the exclusive deal, Target's executives agreed to meet with Lady Gaga and her manager to discuss how the retailer can become more supportive of gay rights.
In the meeting, Billboard reported, she demanded that Target make up for its support of candidates perceived as anti-gay. She told Billboard the meeting was "one of the most intense conversations I've ever had in a business meeting."
"Part of my deal with Target is that they have to start affiliating themselves with [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] charity groups and begin to reform and make amends for the mistakes they've made in the past," Gaga was quoted as saying. "Our relationship is hinged upon their reform."
Dustee Jenkins, Target's vice president of communications, told the magazine that the company wants to work with Lady Gaga and is reviewing its policy on corporation donations through a newly created committee on political giving.
Jenkins told Billboard that the company couldn't rule out future contributions to candidates who have voted against gay-rights issues, but added: "We just believe that this additional oversight will demonstrate our intent to be more thoughtful."
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