President and Chief Executive Officer John W. Beeder, who began his position in April, leads American Greetings, headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio. Beeder is at the helm of an all-white executive leadership team.
The inside of the “Baby Daddy” card says, “You’re a wonderful husband and father — and I’m so grateful to have you as my partner, my friend, and my baby daddy! Happy Father’s Day.”
However, it was the only card that featured a Black couple, inferring that “Baby Daddy” status is particular to Black men.
Black shoppers seeking to honor father figures in their lives saw the “Baby Daddy” cards and began to share photos of it on social media. Takeisha Saunders of North Texas was one of the first to use social media to state her outrage.
“This particular card is marketed to the Black consumer,” Saunders told NBC. “Without knowing what the phrase means, they published it. All I did was make a comment about my lack of options for my husband. My issue is inclusion and how there were no other Black husband cards.”
Saunders also tweeted:
Target is one of the retailers social media users pointed out as carrying the cards. The company responded directly asking for the store location.
Target is removing the cards from about 900 stores.
“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 spokesman for 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.”
In response to the backlash, American Greetings tweeted on Wednesday that its product team ” missed the mark.”
The company pulled the greeting card from its website.
Many social media users outraged by the “Baby Daddy” card pointed to it perpetuating the stereotype that Black women are more likely to be single, unwed mothers.
The article ” Stereotypes of Black American Women Related to Sexuality and Motherhood,” published in “Psychology of Women Quarterly,” describes the results of an online experiment on the unique stereotypes of Black women in the U.S.
It states that a Black woman “described as pregnant was also perceived as more likely to be a single mother and to need public assistance” than was a white woman who was described as pregnant.