As praise continues to pour in for Frank Ocean’s new album Channel Orange, it looks like the decision to digitally release the album a week early exclusively on iTunes may have caused Target – one of the country’s largest music retailers – to decide not to carry the LP in its stores, MTV News reports.
“At Target, we focus on offering our guests a wide assortment of physical CDs,” the company said in a statement, “so our selection of new releases is dedicated to physical CDs rather than titles that are released digitally in advance of the street date.”
Following Target’s initial decision, Ocean’s manager, Christian Clancy, suggested another reason why the record may have been pulled in a now-deleted Tweet that read, “Target has refused to carry Frank’s album because of iTunes exclusive. Interesting since they also donate to non-equal rights organizations.”
Clancy was referring to the open letter Ocean posted on his website last week, in which the singer talked about a previous relationship he’d had with a man. The note garnered Ocean heaps of goodwill from his peers in the music industry, including Beyoncé and Russell Simmons.
Clancy’s tweet also alluded to the fact that in 2010, the Minneapolis-based Target donated $150,000 to Minnesota Forward, a political group that backed candidates across the state, including Tom Emmer, a gubernatorial hopeful who reportedly supported an anti-gay “ministry.”
Clancy, however, posted a new tweet soon after that read, “Note to self: take your own advice. emotional knee jerk reacting isn’t the move.”
Regarding Clancy’s initial tweet, Target said, “The claims made about Target’s decision to not carry the Frank Ocean album are absolutely false. 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 company went on to note its history of partnering with “diverse artists” like Ricky Martin, B.o.B. and Gloria Estefan. Target also stocks records by openly gay artists like Adam Lambert and Elton John, and it recently started selling gay pride T-shirts, with proceeds going to the Family Equality Council.
MTV did note, however, that although Jay-Z and Kanye West released 2011’s Watch The Throne four days early on iTunes, Target does carry that album in its stores. A company spokesperson did not respond to MTV News’ request for an explanation.