American Greetings is apologizing for a Father's Day card after customers called it racially insensitive in an outcry that caused Target to proactively pull the item from its shelves.
The greeting card company said it would stop selling the card at all retailers, including Target.
The retailer had faced criticism on social media over the card, which depicts a black couple overlaid with the phrase "Baby Daddy."
Inside, the 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."
"This particular card was created for, and addressed to, a loving husband — which the inside copy makes clear," American Greetings said in a statement. "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. We should do better in the future, and we will. We have notified our store merchandisers to remove the card from the shelves and apologize for any offense we've caused."
The phrase "Baby Daddy" is "not sweet or nice," wrote Dallas-based Facebook user Takeisha Saunders, one of the first customers to complain about the card. "It's a term used to describe a deadbeat or absent parent. Yeah it's sweet on the inside but whomever created this card doesn't know what it means."
Target pulled this Father's Day card that said "Baby Daddy" and featured a black couple on the front after a backlash online. American Greetings apologized for the card. (American Greetings image, courtesy of Takeisha Saunders)
Target, which was selling the card at about half of its more than 1,800 stores, had already decided to remove the card after noticing complaints on social media.
"We want all guests to feel welcomed and respected when they shop at Target," Target spokesperson Joshua Thomas said in a statement. "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. We appreciate the feedback and apologize. It's never our intent to offend any of our guests with the products we sell."
More from USA Today:
Supermodel Kate Upton vindicated as Guess sex harassment probe claims co-founder
Free beer! Free meals! How dads can score for Father's Day Sunday
The cheesiest Father's Day gift yet: A Kraft cheese sculpture of your dad