By James Park -
Just weeks after she launched a partnership with US retailer Target, Lady Gaga has reportedly pulled out after the company allegedly continued its policy of donating to political causes linked to anti-gay views.
A special edition of Lady Gaga’s new single, Born This Way was exclusively sold at the retailer Target.
The deal was agreed only after intense negotiations between the star and the chain over the company’s policy to donate considerable sums to organisations that support those who discriminate against or even advocate death and violence to gays.
The company agreed to “make amends” for past behaviour by instituting a committee that would in theory prevent these sorts of donations occurring in the future and to donate to LGBT causes.
“That discussion was one of the most intense conversations I’ve ever had in a business meeting,” Lady Gaga said at the time.
“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 [anti-gay] groups.”
Bob Witeck of Witeck-Combs Communications, who was apparently well informed on the deal, said of Lady Gaga: “Throughout this whole process, she has remained true to her audience. I think she’s a person of great integrity, and I think people will recognise that.”
Target has committed $500,000 to LGBT community projects, although that is a tiny fraction of the $156 million it donates every year to ‘community efforts’.
“We, as a company, are considering and taking very — it is part of our hearts to care about this issue. It’s who we are. Around this, we’ve established this policy committee because we understand the importance of decisions like this one and we want to be more thoughtful. We said that we’re giving almost half a million dollars already in 2011 because we want to demonstrate our commitment to the LGBT community,” Dustee Tucker Jenkins, vice president of Target, told Billboard magazine.
The company said that prior to meeting with Lady Gaga, it had already instituted “policy committee” to decide on charitable and political donations following the Minnesota Forward debacle. The new policy would be more “thoughtful.”