Frank Ocean has been receiving a massive amount of support lately — not just for his decision to come out in a heartbreaking post on his Tumblr, but in regards to his debut album, Channel Orange, which has raked up several glowing reviews. But the New Orleans crooner’s decision to drop his album one week ahead of its scheduled release date (July 17) has cut off any support he would have had with Target.
The retailing company has announced that they will not stock the physical copy of Channel Orange due to its early release online. However, Odd Future member and Ocean’s manager Christian Clancy thinks their refusal to sell Ocean’s album is directly linked to his coming out.
“Target has refused to carry Frank’s album because of iTunes exclusive,” Clancy wrote in a tweet, which he has since deleted. “Interesting since they also donate to non-equal rights organizations.”
Clancy may have been referencing Target’s financial support of several anti-gay politicians, which inspired a 2010 boycott organized by MoveOn.org. It does bear mentioning, though, that Target does typically stock albums by openly gay artists like Adam Lambert, and has recently started selling gay pride t-shirts.
Reps for the retail store have responded to Clancy’s claim, explaining their reasoning. “At Target, we focus on offering our guests a wide assortment of physical CDs, so our selection of new releases is dedicated to physical CDs rather than titles that are released digitally in advance of the street date,” said the company in a statement.
We’re not exactly sure what difference it makes to Target whether an album is released online before its street date — any profits lost from people purchasing the LP online instead of in their stores would be significantly less than if they refused to sell the album altogether. Do you think something shadier is going on here? Do you think this will negatively effect Channel Orange‘s sales? Let us know what you think on Facebook, Twitter, or in the comments below.