Occult Product Designer Laments Target Decision

The designer behind several items removed from Target criticized the company’s decision to pull LGBT products with satanist and occult themes. Erik Carnell, the designer for the British brand Abprallen said that Target’s decision was a “very dangerous precedent to set.”

Carnell, who is self-described as transgender, cited Target’s backtracking regarding his company’s products, stating that “if people just get riled up enough about the products that you’re selling, you can completely distance yourself from the LGBT community, when and if it’s convenient.”

He said that the company should have stood by its earlier decision, stating that if “you’re going to take a stance and say that you care about the LGBT community, you need to stand by that regardless.”

The designer argued that the uproar regarding the products was overblown, stating that “Satanists don’t really believe in Satan.” The company owner added that the devil is “merely used as a symbol of passion, pride and liberty.” 

“He means to you what you need him to mean,” Carnell said. “So for me, Satan is hope, compassion, equality and love. So, naturally, Satan respects pronouns.”

The British designer said that the devil “loves all LGBT+ people.” Carnell added that the use of Satan in the products’ design was used as an example of a “mixture of genders, beings, ideas and existences.” 

The designer added that Satan, who the designer described as having ‘they/them’ pronouns, rejects “binary stereotypes and expectations.” 

“Perfect,” Carnell added.

While Target made adjustments to its merchandise and displays following the public controversy, Carnell argues that only his products were actually removed from stores.

Carnell said that the company knew of the controversial nature of his company’s products and declined to sell most of the items with a more overt occult message.

Some of the products designed by Carnell but not carried by Target included a product that said ‘Satan Respects Pronouns.’

The designer blamed the controversy on the “religious right” and denied being a Satanist. 

Carnell lamented the power of the religious community, but the designer said that it “will not last.”