Target is apologizing to offended customers after shoppers began slamming the retailer for offering "Baby Daddy" greeting cards ahead of Father’s Day, and after one Twitter user calling them “an insult to black fathers and a slap in the face to the African-American community as a whole.”
"We want all guests to feel welcomed and respected when they shop at Target," Joshua Thomas, a spokesperson for Target, shared in a statement to Fox News. "We were made aware of some concerns about this card last week and are working with our vendor to have it removed from Target stores.
"We appreciate the feedback and apologize. It’s never our intent to offend any of our guests with the products we sell."
The “Baby Daddy” cards — which are made by American Greetings, and not exclusive to Target — first gained attention as early as May 31, when a shopper named Takeisha Saunders shared an image of the card to Facebook, claiming it was the only card the superstore offered featuring a black couple.
“You CANNOT be serious Target!!!! Really!!!?!!!!? This was the only Father’s Day card that featured a black couple!!!!!!” wrote Saunders, who confirmed to Fox News she found the card at a Target location in Rockwall, Texas.
A commenter on Saunders’ post later pointed out that the inside of the card did in fact use the words “husband” and “father,” as well as a greeting reading “Happy Father’s Day,” but Saunders said it doesn’t excuse the “Baby Daddy” text on the front.
“Ran it past the hubs and he would have been upset simply because of what the term generally means in our culture,” Saunders wrote. "It’s not sweet or nice. It’s a term used to describe a deadbeat or absent parent.
“Yeah it’s sweet on the inside but whomever created this card doesn’t know what it means,” she added of the card.
By June 12, other Target shoppers on social media claimed to have spotted the very same card at their local Target locations, with some echoing Saunders’ sentiment that “Baby Daddy” is not a nice term. Other commenters wondered what message Target intends to send simply by stocking the card.
Target became aware of shoppers' concerns and began the process of removing the cards from its stores prior to the latest complains, and later responded to a concerned shopper’s tweet with an apology early on Wednesday morning. At the time, however, the retailer did not confirm that the card was being pulled from shelves.
“Thanks for sharing this with us. We assure you it is never our intention to offend our guests with the merchandise we provide. We sincerely apologize to anyone this particular card has offended,” wrote a spokesperson for the AskTarget Twitter page, before asking the woman to “please verify the store location this was displayed so we can share your feedback.”
American Greetings has also released a statement to Fox News concerning the card, along with a photo of the message inside.
"In this instance, this particular card was created for, and addressed to, a loving husband—which the inside copy makes clear. However, we now see that the front page, taken out of context, can communicate an unintentional meaning that we are strongly against perpetuating and is not consistent with our company purpose and values," wrote a spokesperson for the company. "We should do better in the future, and we will. We have notified our store merchandisers to remove the card from the shelves and apologize for any offense we’ve caused."
However, not all Target shoppers were as angered by American Greetings' controversial “Baby Daddy” cards, with some appearing to find them more amusing than offensive.
Still, Saunders tells Fox News she’s hoping to “shed some light” on why the cards are offensive.
“I understand Target did not make the cards,” said Saunders. “By posting my comment, I hoped to shed some light on why I was upset about it. I would hope that [American Greetings] and Target’s purchasers would become more aware of the items on their shelves and how they may not have the desired impact on the targeted demographic consumers,” she said.
A representative for American Greetings was not immediately available to comment.