The transgender designer behind the UK-based Abprallen clothing brand that was featured in Target’s 2023 Pride Month collection denies being a Satanist, despite selling designs with satanic imagery and writing about Satan on Instagram.
The Washington Post reported that “Erik” Carnell, a woman who identifies as a gay male, said she is not a Satanist, but an atheist, explaining that if she did believe in Satan, she would also have to believe in the Bible, and she doesn’t.
Carnell said she chose to use satanic imagery in her art as a way to “subvert a homophobic narrative” that gays are sinful or ungodly. She explained that she was “reclaiming slurs” to “remove the power” from them.
Calling herself a scapegoat, Carnell blamed “right-wing people” for Target severing its relationship with her. She accused the right of taking her art and using it “in bad faith” to spin a narrative that would get the right “riled up.”
Carnell told the Washington Post that she has received death threats since the controversy began, but added that she has been “inundated with orders” at her online store.
Target has faced significant customer blowback since unveiling its 2023 Pride collection, which included designs from Carnell’s Abprallen.
Fox News reported last Wednesday that Target instructed some stores, particularly in the South, to move their Pride Month collections to the back.
According to a Target employee who spoke anonymously to Fox News, during the May 19 “emergency” call, store managers were given 36 hours to move their Pride Month displays to smaller areas in the back without any mannequins or “large signage.”
In the first seven days after introducing its Pride Month display, Target lost $9.3 billion, or 12.6 percent, of its market share.
In an Instagram post over the weekend, Carnell claimed that her apparel was pulled from Target over “false accusations” that she is a Satanist. She claimed that the accusations were “debunked numerous times” but the “religious right” refuses to “back down.”