A mistake attributed to an oversight at Target Corp.'s website operations resulted in a handful of words - including "transgender" and "queer" - being stripped from some book descriptions on Target.com.
The words were replaced with an asterisk or series of asterisks, even though they were not among a list of words the Minneapolis-based retailer would normally consider blocking, a spokeswoman said Thursday.
Cael Keegan, author of the November release "Lana and Lilly Wachowski," noticed the redactions and alerted her publishing company, the University of Illinois Press, according to Publisher's Weekly, which first reported the glitch.
Target said it was working with its staff and had corrected most of the book summaries.
The company maintains and constantly updates a list of words and phrases it deems offensive or inappropriate and said it will continue to do so.
Though the process of redacting the words is automated, it affected only a small number of books, the company said.
"Like most online retailers, Target doesn't want profanity and other select words to appear on our website in an effort to ensure a positive shopping experience," spokeswoman Jenna Reck said in an e-mailed statement. "This was an oversight on our part, and they should be included. We're working to update our site with the descriptions that were provided to Target by the book publishers."
The situation was more charged for the retailer, which took a prominent stance in 2016 to allow shoppers to use bathrooms and fitting rooms that align with their gender identity. The move was lauded by some, but also drew significant backlash and calls for a boycott by others. To allay concerns, Target spent $20 million to ensure that all of its more than 1,800 stores also had family restrooms.
Visit the Star Tribune (Minneapolis) at www.startribune.com