Starbucks just unveiled a new green coffee cup the java chain says was designed to promote unity. But the timing of the cup’s release — just days before the U.S. presidential election — and the green cup’s message of unity is drawing harsh criticism from some Americans.
According to Starbucks, the cup features a line drawing of more than 100 people — including a coffee farmer, a barista, a family and friends — created in one continuous stroke by artist Shogo Ota.
Starbucks Chairman and CEO Howard Schultz says in a statement:
“The green cup and the design represent the connections Starbucks has as a community with its partners (employees) and customers. During a divisive time in our country, Starbucks wanted to create a symbol of unity as a reminder of our shared values, and the need to be good to each other.”
The cup was designed to serve as a symbol for “stitching people together as a united community,” Starbucks explained in a press release.
The coffee cup, which debuted in stores on Nov. 1, is making headlines — but not for bringing people together. Instead, the green cup is making some Americans see red.
Deplorable George (@Always_George) recently tweeted to @Starbucksnews:
You can keep pushing this #GLOBALISM crap, but we are not BUYING it! We are NOT all connected! #WakeUp #MAGA
Does the outrage sound familiar? It should. Last year, Starbucks was accused by some Americans of “waging a war on Christmas” with the annual release of its red holiday cups.
The 2015 holiday cups were a simple two-toned ombré design with no snowmen, snowflakes, trees or other holiday-inspired art. But the cup’s design drew harsh criticism from some Americans, like former pastor Josh Feuerstein, who claimed that the coffee giant “removed Christmas from their cups because they hate Jesus.”
Starbucks tells Fortune that the green cup is a limited-time design, not its holiday cup for 2016.
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