Starbuck’s 2015 holiday season red cups have recently stirred up criticism from people who have accused the company of waging a “war on Christmas”. When the cups rolled out in late October, the company said they had removed “symbols of the season” that they’ve used in the past, such as reindeer and ornaments, in favor of something more simple that vice president Jeffrey Fields said would usher in the holidays “with a purity of design that welcomes all of our stories”.
While a plain red cup might not seem like much to talk about, former pastor and self-proclaimed “social media personality” Joshua Feuerstein disagreed. Late last week, he posted a video to Facebook where he claimed the company removed Christmas from their cups because “they hate Jesus”, and that customers should say “Merry Christmas” instead of their names in order to “trick” baristas into writing the phrase on the cup. Within four days of his video being posted, Feuerstein claims it had gotten more than 10 million views.
In response to Feuerstein’s video, Starbucks stated that they try to create a culture of “belonging, inclusion and diversity”, with a cup that’s meant to be a “blank canvas”. While pictures of cups with “Merry Christmas” written on them sprang up all over social media, and Donald Trump has spoken out in favor of boycotting Starbucks, other people defended the company or criticized Feuerstein. While Starbucks might have a plain red cup, people have pointed out that they also sell gift cards with “Merry Christmas” written on them and sells a “Christmas Blend” flavored coffee.