American Greetings has apologized for a controversial Father’s Day card it says was intended to be a “playful” ode to dads just days before the holiday.
The card featured a Black couple on the cover kissing with the words “Baby Daddy” stamped across the front. Inside, it read more like a typical Father’s Day card, praising the man for being a wonderful husband and father.
Upon seeing the card in her local Target, Takeisha Saunders, shared the image on Facebook, telling her friends, “You CANNOT be serious Target!!!! Really!!!?!!!!? This was the only Father’s Day card that featured a black couple!!!!!!” noted the Dallas resident, who added the hashtags – #OurVoicesReally #NotMyNarrative #HowAboutHusband #HowAboutLove #HowAboutJustDad.”
After others spotted the card at stores across the country, they shared their outrage, prompting Target to pull it from its shelves and issue an apology.
“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,”a statement from the retailer said. “We appreciate the feedback and apologize. It’s never our intent to offend any of our guests with the products we sell.”
American Greetings also issued an apology on Twitter, explaining the company mistakenly thought the card would come across as “playful,” not offensive.
“Thank you for raising this concern and bringing it to our attention. This card was intended to be a playful husband card, but we have notified the product team that it missed the mark,” the company tweeted. “Please accept our sincerest apologies and know we will do better in the future.”
A spokesperson for American Greetings issued a longer statement to Buzzfeed.
“This particular card was created for, and addressed to, a loving husband—which the inside copy makes clear,” the spokesperson said. “However, we now see that the front page, taken out of context, can communicate an unintentional meaning that we are strongly against perpetuating and is not consistent with our company purpose and values.”
In addition to apologizing, American Greetings pulled the card from stores around the nation.
“We should do better in the future, and we will,” the spokesperson added. “We have notified our store merchandisers to remove the card from the shelves and apologize for any offense we’ve caused.”