Starbucks Is Criticized for Its Holiday Cups. Yes, Again.

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Starbucks Is Criticized for Its Holiday Cups. Yes, Again.
“We intentionally designed the cup so our customers can interpret it in their own way, adding their own color and illustrations.”
Controversy over the design of seasonal Starbucks cups is just one front in an annual culture war over the role of religion and liberalism in the five-week period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, a period
that people inclined toward interfaith outreach might call “the holiday season.”
Like many divisive cultural debates, arguments over the Christian bona fides of seasonal Starbucks cups appear to have intensified during the 2016 presidential campaign as political
and social tensions heightened in many areas of American life.
In a statement released at the time, the company said it wanted to “create a culture of belonging, inclusion
and diversity” and meant the cups as an invitation for “customers to tell their Christmas stories in their own way, with a red cup that mimics a blank canvas.”
That decision was met with an angry online backlash from conservatives and others who saw it as an example of political correctness run amok.
This year’s cup features nods to Christmas tradition, including a decorated Christmas tree, and was introduced by an online video
that proclaimed “the holidays mean something different to everyone.”
But that big-tent approach wasn’t enough to avoid controversy.
The online video that introduced the 2017 holiday cup on Nov. 1 featured a diverse cast
of Starbucks customers, including a pair of cartoon women who were shown holding hands.


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