Frank Ocean Album Banned by Target Because He Came Out … on iTunes Early

Frank Ocean's "Channel Orange" won't be sold at Target because of digital release, despite suggestions of homophobia

Frank Ocean's latest album, "Channel Orange," won't be available at your local Target. But it's not for the reason that you — or Ocean's manager — might think.

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Singer/songwriter Ocean surprised many when he came out last week by posting an ode to a man with whom he'd been romantically involved four years earlier.

Also read: Hip-Hop Singer Frank Ocean Comes Out in Love Letter

But Ocean's sexuality appears to be unrelated to the retail giant's decision to ban his record from its shelves.

Responding to insinuations that the company was keeping Ocean's album from its shelves out of anti-gay bias, the company adamantly denied such allegations in a statement provided to TheWrap.

"The claims made about Target’s decision to not carry the Frank Ocean album are absolutely false," the company said. "Target supports inclusivity and diversity in every aspect of our business. Our assortment decisions are based on a number of factors, including guest demand."

The statement added, "Target has a longstanding tradition of supporting music and artistry that reflects the diverse landscape of American culture. Our history of partnering with diverse artists includes recent partnerships with a variety of musicians."

 Instead, it appears, Target has opted not to carry "Channel Orange" because it was released digitally a week before it's scheduled to hit store shelves in brick-and-mortar outlets.

"Channel Orange," the debut studio album by Ocean, was released digitally on iTunes on Tuesday, while its release on other platforms is slated for July 17.

Also read: As the Closet Door Opens Wider, Where Are the Gay Movie Stars?.

Some people — or at least, apparently, Ocean's manager, Christian Clancy — initially saw other motives in Target's decision, however.

Also read: Watch Frank Ocean's Coming-Out TV Performance of "Bad Religion" (Video)

According to the Los Angeles Times, Clancy sent a tweet — since deleted — suggesting that the company had chosen to pull the CD due to homophobia.

"Target has refused to carry Frank's album because of iTunes exclusive," the tweet read. "Interesting since they also donate to non-equal rights organizations."

Clancy was apparently referring to reports that, in 2010, Target donated $150,000 to Minnesota Forward, an organization that supported Minnesota gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer, who had reported ties to an anti-gay ministry.

However, Clancy offered a digital mea culpa afterward, tweeting, "I apologize for my comments about Target. They are not carrying Franks album because it went digital first. Not for ANY other reason … My response was simply an emotional knee jerk reaction."


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