Target won’t sell Frank Ocean’s ‘Channel Orange,' claim it's a business decision

R&B artist Frank Ocean’s new Channel Orange album is currently the top-selling album on iTunes and has been so since its early release on Tuesday, but the Target retail chain has decided  not carry the Ocean’s album because, they say, it was already an iTunes one-week exclusive.

Billboard reports that Target says it’s decision has nothing to do with Ocean’s recent revelation regarding sexuality:

“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.”

“Target has a longstanding tradition of supporting music and artistry that reflects the diverse landscape of American culture. Our history of partnering with diverse artists includes recent partnerships with a variety of musicians, such as Ricky Martin, B.o.B, and Gloria Estefan.”

Ocean came out on July 4th on Tumblr, announcing in a post that he has a past relationship with a man.

Early Tuesday morning, Ocean’s manager, Christian Clancy suggested on Twitter that Target’s decision not to carry the album was caused by Ocean’s coming out.

Clancy wrote, “Interesting since they [Target] also donate to non-equal rights organizations.”

This comment was made in light of Target’s recent controversy concerning their financial contributions to a group called MN Forward, a pro-business group backed by the state Chamber of Commerce, which also actively supported Republican Tom Emmer’s 2010 gubernatorial bid in Minnesota. Emmer was known for not supporting equal rights for LGBT citizens.

Clancy later deleted and recanted his previous tweet, saying, “Target has refused to carry Frank’s album because of  iTunes exclusive.”

Frank Ocean himself has weighed in, tweeting: “album won’t be available at target. blame it on a generational gap. best buy on deck though.”

The Minneapolis-based retailer released a statement saying:

“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.”

Channel Orange is Ocean’s first studio album, following a number of high-profile guest appearances alongside other R&B and hip-hop giants and a highly acclaimed mix-tape — Nostalgia, Ultra — that propelled the 24-year-old to his current success.

Follow Jonathan Radford on Twitter.