Takeisha Saunders was looking to buy her husband a Father’s Day card at a Target store in suburban Dallas recently and became more than a little dismayed by her lack of options.
Saunders, who is African-American, was looking for a card that showed a black couple with the word “husband” on the front. She didn’t find one. Instead, she saw a card with an image of a black couple and the words, “Baby Daddy.”
“You CANNOT be serious Target!!!! Really!!!?!!!!? This was the only Father’s Day card that featured a black couple!!!!!” she said on Facebook, along with a photo of the card.
“Baby daddy” is a largely derogatory term for an absent father of a single woman’s child.
In an interview with CNN, Saunders said the store in Rockwall, Texas, carried Father’s Day cards depicting people of other ethnic backgrounds that did read “husband.”
After getting over her initial shock, Saunders said she talked with her husband, who urged her to post the photo to Facebook to bring awareness to the issue.
After her post attracted attention – and complaints from others – Target issued an apology and said it was pulling the card from its stores.
“We want all guests to feel welcomed and respected when they shop at Target. 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,” said the statement, which Target sent to CNN. “We appreciate the feedback and apologize. It’s never our intent to offend any of our guests with the products we sell.”
American Greetings, maker of the card, also issued an apology.
“Thank you for raising this concern and bringing it to our attention,” the company said on Twitter in response to a complaint. “This card was intended to be a playful husband card, but we have notified the product team that it missed the mark. Please accept our sincerest apologies and know we will do better in the future.”
Saunders told CNN she got equal amounts of support and backlash over her Facebook post, but some of the commenters missed the larger point she was attempting to make.
She is not calling for a boycott and doesn’t necessarily see “baby daddy” as a term of endearment. She said the larger issue for her was the lack of ethnically diverse products, a problem she’s also noticed while shopping for dolls for her daughter.