Our friends at PopEater report that Lady Gaga has dissolved a deal with retail giant Target over the chain's controversial policy regarding political donations. "She and Target didn't see eye to eye on Target's policy of political donations and how they affect the LGBT community," a source close to the singer tells The Advocate.
Gaga had inked a deal with the retailer to offer an exclusive deluxe edition of her highly anticipated forthcoming album 'Born This Way.' Gaga, an ardent gay rights activist, told Billboard last month the deal "hinged upon their [Target's] reform in the company to support the gay community and to redeem the mistakes they've made supporting those groups."
Apparently unhappy with the company's efforts, the singer and Target "came to a mutual decision to end their overall exclusive partnership" (via E!).
Last year, it was revealed that Target had donated corporate funds to MN Forward, a political action committee that supported anti-LGBT Minnesota gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer's failed 2010 run for office.
Target's support for an anti-gay group is, of course, in direct conflict with Gaga's personal politics on LGBT issues. The singer has been a longtime gay rights advocate, and last year spoke at political demonstrations in Maine urging senators there to support a repeal of the military's now-defunct Don't Ask Don't Tell policy, which barred openly gay soldiers from serving in the military. More recently, she has pledged the proceeds from the release of a stripped-down version of 'Born This Way' to anti-bullying charities. Gaga is also the face of cosmetics giant MAC's Viva Glam campaign, which benefits AIDS research.
"That discussion was one of the most intense conversations I've ever had in a business meeting," Gaga told Billboard of her meetings with Target while negotiating the deal. "Part of my deal with Target is that they have to start affiliating themselves with LGBT charity groups and begin to reform and make amends for the mistakes they've made in the past."
Her most recent single, 'Born This Way,' is itself a "manifesto" of the singer's beliefs regarding the need for full equality for all persons regardless of race, sexuality, ethnicity or religion. In a preface to the song, Gaga opens her video with a voice-over that espouses the need for "the beginning of the new race. A race within the race of humanity, a race which bears no prejudice, no judgment, but boundless freedom." The song itself includes lyrics like, "No matter gay, straight, or bi, lesbian, transgendered life / I'm on the right track baby, I was born to survive / No matter black, white or beige, chola or orient made / I'm on the right track baby, I was born to be brave."
'Born This Way' debuted in mid-February to enormous digital download sales and record-shattering pickup at radio (it's the biggest debuting title in the 18-year history of the Billboard chart, according to Nielsen BDS), and has spent the last three weeks at No. 1.