A little-known Christian video blogger has turned a squabble over Starbucks’ holiday cup design into a national war on Christmas kerfuffle.
In a viral video posted on Facebook last week, Joshua Feuerstein, who calls himself a Christian social media personality, criticizes Starbucks for its decision to remove holiday and winter symbols from their cups in lieu of a plain red cup. He calls on people to tell their Starbucks barista their name is “Merry Christmas” so that they will be forced to write the “name” on the cups, as is their practice.
The video is below:
After the video went viral with millions of views and media coverage, Starbucks wrote a post on their website Sunday defending their new design.
“Creating a culture of belonging, inclusion and diversity is one of the core values of Starbucks, and each year during the holidays the company aims to bring customers an experience that inspires the spirit of the season,” the company said in the statement. “Starbucks will continue to embrace and welcome customers from all backgrounds and religions in our stores around the world.”
The cups in the past have contained reindeer and ornaments but not this year. Contrasting past Christmas cups, such as this one, shows the clear difference from the new simply red cup.
“In the past, we have told stories with our holiday cups designs,” Jeffrey Fields, Starbucks vice president of Design & Content, is quoted in the statement. “This year we wanted to usher in the holidays with a purity of design that welcomes all of our stories.”
Feuerstein’s video has 12 million views and nearly half a million shares on Facebook.
“I think in the age of political correctness we’ve become so open minded our brains have literally fallen out of our head,” Feuerstein says in the video. “I decided instead of simply boycotting, well why don’t we just start a movement.”
Starbucks said in their defense they wanted the red cup to act as a blank canvas where customers could put their own design. It’s worth noting that the red cup and green Starbucks logo still give off a Christmas colored theme.
“Starbucks has become a place of sanctuary during the holidays,” he said. “We’re embracing the simplicity and the quietness of it. It’s more open way to usher in the holiday.”
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