Starbucks Cup Controversy

Every year Starbucks comes out with a fun and festive decorated cup for the holidays. In recent years, there has been major controversy over the design of seasonal Starbucks cups. Back in 2015, Starbucks announced it would remove traditional holiday symbols, like reindeer and Christmas trees, from its holiday cups in favor of a more simple red design. The idea was to stop all of the comments about the designs. This year however, Starbucks has brought back the Christmas spirit by adding holiday symbols back onto the cup. 

 There are two gender-neutral hands on the side of the coffee cup. A starbucks representive commented “the holidays mean something different to everyone.”  Starbucks posted a video, used to launch its holiday season:

The video itself did not attract any negative attention. However, The gender neutral hands on the side of the cup stirred up a lot of controversy.  After BuzzFeed published an article about the cup and called it “totally gay”, a lot of public attention was drawn to it. This created the theory that the holding hands were related to the same sex couple shown in the video. Starbucks representative Sanja Gould stated that “We intentionally designed the cup so our customers can interpret it in their own way, adding their own color and illustrations.” Meaning that Starbucks intentionally left the design open to interpretation and didn’t target any specific message or group of people.  In a statement released, Starbucks said they wanted “to create a culture of belonging, inclusions and diversity.” Thus, creating the new design on the holiday cup. Yet people have still become angry about this issue because it seems as though Starbucks is advocating homosexuality.