Target CEO Had No Idea Transgender Bathroom Change At His Company Was Coming

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Amber Randall Civil Rights Reporter
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Target’s April announcement that transgender people could use the store bathrooms according to their preferred gender identity reportedly came as a surprise to the CEO.

Target Chief Executive Brian Cornell did not know that the company would be announcing the change in bathroom policy, sources told The Wall Street Journal.

The company made the announcement via a blog post April 19, not longer after North Carolina passed a law to prevent transgender people from using the bathroom of their choice. Target said customers and employees could use the bathroom according to the gender they identified with in the blog post.

Cornell wasn’t aware that the company would be making the announcement as he was not part of the email chain notifying people of it, people close to the situation told TheWSJ. Target’s “risk committee” sent out an email telling executives about their intent to announce the bathroom policy publicly, and asking for executives’ permission on the idea.

Cornell wasn’t on the email chain, but Target’s chief risk officer, Jackie Rice, and its chief external-engagement officer, Laysha Ward signed off on the proposal. Cornell didn’t agree with making the policy public, but felt that the company couldn’t retract the statement, sources said. He defended the policy on TV, saying that other companies had similar bathroom policies.

The company took a lot of heat for the decision, and some people decided to boycott the store over it. The American Family Association (AFA) urged people to boycott the store, claiming the policy would allow “sexual predators” into the bathroom with women.

A transgender woman was caught filming a young woman while she was in the changing room. Shauna Smith, who used to be a man, received a two to five year sentence in prison for taking photos of a girl in a Target dressing room.

“It’s kind of a far-fetched cliché,” the victim said. “I never thought this would happen. I always supported the transgender community, but I felt a little betrayed.”

Target did not return The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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Amber Randall