Frank Ocean's 'Channel Orange' Blackballed by Target Stores

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After the digital debut of his Channel Orange, many are hopping on the Frank Ocean bandwagon — but not Target.

Despite pulling in plenty of fan praise, receiving rave reviews and skyrocketing to No. 1 on iTunes in 10 countries, Ocean’s freshman album won’t be hitting the shelves of the retail giant.

Target has refused to stock Ocean’s new controversial record, insisting the sudden decision has nothing to do with the fact that Ocean recently revealed that his first love was a man.

So what gives?

The superstore claims the album’s early iTunes debut — a week prior to its July 17 disc release date — is the reasoning behind its choice not to sell Channel Orange, which features songs about Ocean's sexuality.

“We focus on offering our guests a wide assortment of physical CDs,” a Target rep 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. Target supports inclusivity and diversity in every aspect of our business. Our assortment decisions are based on a number of factors, including guest demand.”

But there seems to a sticking point in Target's rationale: the store does sell Kayne West and Jay-Z's Watch The Throne, despite the album debuting as an iTunes digital exclusive prior to hitting stores.

Ocean's manager, Christian Clancy, shared his personal view on the matter: "Target has refused to carry Frank's album because of iTunes exclusive," he tweeted. "Interesting since they also donate to non-equal rights organizations." He later deleted and recanted the tweet.

As for the Channel Orange — see the critically-acclaimed songwriting at DirectLyrics — creator, Ocean offered his own statement via Twitter: "album won't be available at target. blame it on a generational gap. best buy on deck though."

Do you think Target should be carrying the sure-to-be-a-hit album? Chime in below.

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  • Lo

    I completely agree but they need to think, not everyone buys the digital version. A lot of people still buy a physical CD and won't take the time to figure out the "real" reason Target won't have this particular CD. They'll think discrimination.

  • Sarah

    I'm not really buying their reasoning, but even if the early digital release date were the real reason behind the decision to not stock the album, Target has to know that the decision is still going to LOOK like discrimination based on sexual orientation to customers. They can say whatever they want, but they're still going to get bad press for it, because it just reads as homophobia. That's my two cents.