Target has made a controversial decision not to sell Frank Ocean’s debut album, Channel Orange, after his label released it to iTunes ahead of its scheduled release date. There’s been speculation that the large retailer chose to forgo the rising R&B star’s album after he confessed he fell in love with a man in an open letter to fans.
Early Tuesday, Ocean’s manager, Christian Clancy, stated on Twitter, “Target has refused to carry Frank’s album because of iTunes exclusive.” He continued, “Interesting since they also donate to non-equal rights organizations.”
Clancy is likely referencing the company’s cancellation of a $10 million television campaign for Lady Gaga’s Born This Way album, allegedly due to differences in ideology. In the past Target has lent its support to political candidates who are opposed to gay rights.
In response to the controversy with Ocean, Target issued a statement to Billboard.biz, stating:
"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."
Shortly after, Clancy apologized on Twitter for his earlier accusations:
"I apologize for my comments about Target. They are not carrying Frank's album because it went digital first. Not for ANY other reason. … My response was simply an emotional knee jerk reaction. … Stop. Breath. Do the best you can. Be honest. Keep it moving."
For his part, Ocean simply brushed off Target's decision not to carry his debut, which is projected to move over 125,000 copies in digital sales.
"Album won't be available at target. Blame it on generational gap. Best Buy on deck though."
Channel Orange was released early on iTunes shortly after midnight on July 10 after Ocean performed on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.
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(Photo: Darla Khazei, PacificCoastNews.com)