Every year, without fail Starbucks is hit with significant amounts of criticism related to its holiday cups. The coffee chain that spans the globe regularly receives this backlash because of its ever-changing cups and the lack of traditional symbols related to Christmas.
This year, many people are upset about one illustration that has two people holding hands.
Last month, Starbucks releases its promotional video that announced the new design for this year’s new red cup. It features several very nice illustrated figures preparing for the holidays or just enjoying a cup of joe.
Since the cup this year is set up to be customized, the video features text that says, “The holidays mean something different for everyone.”
However, weeks later people began realizing that two women in the promotional video were thought to represent a lesbian couple.
Just joking, BuzzFeed asked readers if Starbucks new cup was just totally gay. That article pointed out as well a pair of hands on the cup that appeared gender-neutral holding each other.
A colleague of the writer for BuzzFeed was quoted during the article as saying, “I can attest to the lesbianism of those hands.” But that too was done jokingly.
Then word reached Fox News. The news outlet included many tweets by people who had become upset over the cup and were going to boycott the coffee store chain.
Fox referred as well to the articles by BuzzFeed and claimed that the publication had asserted the hypothesis was indeed fact, but Fox did not grasp the full sarcastic tone of the article.
That caused tweets to start having #BoycottStarbucks. The tweets claimed the coffee chain was pushing its gay or liberal agenda onto the consumer.
Despite the vast number of negative tweets, others using social media have begun using a hashtag that mocks those who are upset about the two gender-neutral hands holding one another.
After all the controversy that has taken place, Starbucks spokesperson Sanja Gould said that the hand-drawn annual cup this year featured scenes of celebrations with loved ones. Adding that the cup was designed intentionally so that Starbucks customers could interpret it in the way that each one chose to, which includes adding colors they wanted as well as illustrations.
The controversy that erupted on social media shows how powerful Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and others are in today’s world.