Starbucks’ cups start controversy


Julia Labban

This year’s Starbucks cups have been the focus of much scrutiny from consumers. Their new design is a simple ombré red, and some are seeing the change as an attack on Christianity. They claim that since Starbucks has ditched snowflakes and other designs affiliated with winter, that Starbucks is discriminating against Christians.

Even Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has weighed in on the controversy, suggesting that Americans boycott Starbucks.

“Starbucks is taking Merry Christmas. No more Merry Christmas,” Trump said at a campaign rally in Illinois. “Maybe we should boycott Starbucks. I don’t know.”

He also kept consistent by adding in a campaign promise to appeal to the religious population in the country.

“If I become president, we’re all going to be saying Merry Christmas again, that I can tell you,” Trump said.

Junior Claire McPherson thinks that the people upset over the cups are overreacting.

“It is totally [Starbucks’] choice,” McPherson said. “The fact that people are upset about it is stupid. It’s a cup! People need to grow up.”

Junior Sarah Orow disagrees and thinks that Starbucks should have kept their old design.

“I don’t think Starbucks should remove Christmas from their merchandise,” Orow said.

McPherson thinks that the old design didn’t even have an affiliation with Christmas in the first place.

“Snowflakes represent winter, not just Christmas,” McPherson said. “I think people just assumed it was about Christmas.”

English teacher Mrs. Stephanie Miller is a self-proclaimed Starbucks lover and says that the new design won’t change her opinion of the establishment.

“I, myself, am an avid Starbucks consumer. I frequent the place on a weekly or daily basis.  I do not feel anything will change,” Mrs. Miller said. “Thank goodness!”

McPherson agrees that her opinion of Starbucks is unwavering.

“I’m in love with Starbucks no matter what,” McPherson said.

Mrs. Miller thinks that the cups shouldn’t be causing as much of a stir as they are.

“I do not feel it’s offensive to Christians,” Mrs. Miller said. “I do not think this is upsetting to Starbucks consumers either.  I feel if they get their Starbucks that’s good enough for them!”

McPherson is Christian herself and doesn’t feel that the cups should be offending anyone.

“As a Christian, I feel that this is not offensive at all,” McPherson said. “There’s no reason for it to bother me. If you want a festive cup based on what you believe, go to a store and buy one yourself. This really shouldn’t affect anyone this badly.”

Orow thinks that as long as Starbucks doesn’t drastically alter their actual product, people shouldn’t be reacting harshly.

“I think consumers don’t really care about the change,” Orow said. “You go to Starbucks for the food and drinks, not the decorations or designs on merchandise.”

McPherson sees the public’s reaction as silly and unnecessary.

“They’re being so immature! It’s ridiculous,” McPherson said. “It’s not a problem, so I don’t know why they had to overreact about it.”

Ms. Miller believes that Starbucks made the change to respect all of it’s customers during the holidays.

“Many Americans do not practice Christianity and Starbucks serves a number of people with different religions,” Mrs. Miller said.

Orow thinks that the change has something to do with the owner’s religious affiliation.

“I think they made the decision for the removal because the owner isn’t conservative or Christian,” Orow said.

She also thinks that religious freedom should be a highly held ideal in America.

“Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and religion,” Orow said. “This isn’t discriminating against Christians.”

Ms. Miller thinks that situations like this show that some Christians believe they are superior to other religious groups.

“I think it’s so judgmental,” Mrs. Miller said. “It’s possible that certain groups believe that they’re superior. I think that’s ignorant. Like that’s silly, get a life.”

In the end, Starbucks released this statement in CBS News regarding their cups:

“Our core values as a company is to create a culture of belonging, inclusion and diversity…we will continue to embrace and welcome customers from all backgrounds and religions in our stores around the world.”