Target Under Fire for Allegedly Stealing Loteria Flag Design from Queer Mexican-American Artist

· Updated on May 29, 2018

This pride flag design is not exactly a bull’s-eye for Target.

On Thursday, queer Mexican-American artist Felix d’Eon accused corporate retail giant Target of stealing a design for their annual pride line from a work of art he created. The work, based off the Mexican game lotería, depicts a rainbow pride flag draped around a pole with the words “LA BANDERA” below it, much like the Mexican flag in a traditional lotería game.

Felix d’Eon, the artist behind the original image, told INTO that he didn’t think much of it when he first saw the design, but then, when he compared it to his drawing, the similarities were easily visible.

“When I saw their version side by side with my version,” d’Eon said, it was clear “They took my painting and just redrew it.”

d’Eon told INTO that he drew his version two years ago in April and that it took him over a year to paint the entire queer-themed lotería deck.

Aside from Target’s alleged redrawing of the original, d’Eon took umbrage with what he called their “callous appropriation” of the t-shirt, which, he said, was also not culturally accurate.

“Every single [lotería] image has an ‘el’ or a ‘la’ before the subject,” d’Eon said of Target’s supposed copy. “The fact that they didn’t do that, the fact that there’s not a number in the corner, the fact that the models are white makes me suspect that no Latinos were actually involved in the decision to copy the shirt, to produce the shirt, to publicize the shirt, which is a whole other set of issues around cultural appropriation.” He added, “It feels like, ‘We can make money on gay Latinos in the US’ without consulting me or anybody else about what they were doing.”

Target issued an apology for the design on the Diet Prada Instagram account, which has over 474,000 followers.

“Target respects the design rights of others and expects our vendors to do the same,” the post reads. “We’ve pulled this shirt from and are addressing this issue with our vendor today.”

The Target page that used to hold the shirt has been taken down. However, according to d’Eon, Target has not contacted him to apologize. While not available online, the shirts are still available in brick-and-mortar stores.

“If they choose to remunerate me or not, that’s not what I’m looking for,” d’Eon said. “If they wanted to talk to me, I’d be open. What I’m looking for is an apology to me, the queer Latinx community and to stop selling the stolen shirt in the stores and stop profiting off my work.”

INTO contacted Target for comment and will update if we hear back.

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