Starbucks "Beaner" Cup Controversy

Starbucks "Beaner" Cup Controversy

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Updated May 18, 2018 at 03:37PM EDT by Matt.

Added May 18, 2018 at 02:57PM EDT by Matt.

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Overview

Starbucks "Beaner" Cup Controversy refers to the public reaction toward the Starbucks coffee chain restaurant after a Latino customer reportedly received a cup with a racial slur written in place of his name. The company has apologized to the customer, but many compared the incident to another in which two African American men were arrested for sitting in a Starbucks restaurant.

Background

On May 15th, 2018, a Latino Starbucks customer named Pedro received an order with the word "Beaner" printed on the cup as oppose to his name (image below).[1] That day, Pedro's co-worker Priscilla Hernandez tweeted, "One of our cooks went in to @Starbucks on Gould & Foothill this morning in La Canada & out of all the names they can put on his cup they decide to put “beaner.” We called & complained & their excuse was they couldn’t understand him. Regardless; there are MANY names you can put." The post (shown below) received more than 1,900 retweets and 2,500 likes before being deleted.


One of our cooks went in to @Starbucks on Gould & Foothill this morning in La Canada & out of all the names they can put on his cup they decide to put "b-----." We called & complained & their excuse was they couldn't understand him. Regardless, there aree MANY names you can put Item: 2 of 2 Itens in order: 2 B----- It lod Caral Mach Tine: 8:44:56 AM Reg : 2 >CAFE<


Developments

Starbucks Response

Following the post by Hernandez, the Twitter[2] account for Starbucks Help responded with an apology. They wrote, "Thank you for letting us know, Priscilla. This is not the welcoming experience we aim to provide, and we have reached out to this customer to apologize and make this right. -Ryan." Within three day, the tweet[2] (shown below) received more than 20 retweets and 20 likes.


Starbucks Help @starbuckshelp Replying to @priscillaah2422 Thank you for letting us know, Priscilla. This is not the welcoming experience we aim to provide, and we have reached out to this customer to apologize and make this right. Ryan

Online Reaction

That day, news of the incident was published on several subreddits, including /r/CringeAnarchy,[3] /r/TumblrInAction,[4] /r/The_Donald, [5] /r/DiversityNews,[6] /r/new_right[7] and more.

On May 17th, reporter Shomari Stone tweeted,[8] "Pedro doesn’t believe the slur was an accident because the Starbucks barista called his name once his order was ready. In an effort to compensate the experience, Starbucks offered him a $50 gift card. 'I didn't accept it because its like an insult overall.'" The tweet (shown below, left) received more than 1,900 retweets and 3,500 likes in 24 hours.

That day, California State Representative Norma J. Torres tweeted[9] three images labeled "Human Beings," "Coffee Beans" and "Beans." She captioned the post, "Free diversity training for @Starbucks #GetIt." The post (shown below, center) received more than 1,100 retweets and 4,000 likes in 24 hours.

Twitter user @NickPonticello tweeted,[10] "Starbucks printed a racial slur on a customer’s cup and they offered him a $50 gift card as an apology! They need way more than one day of racial-bias training. Go to your local #Starbucks and demand an apology! And always insist they get your name right!" The post (shown below, right) received more than 800 retweets and 1,800 likes in 24 hours.

On May 18th, Twitter[11] published a Moments page about the controversy.


Shomari Stone @shomaristone Pedro doesn't believe the slur was an accident because the Starbucks barista called his name once his order was ready. In an effort to compensate the experience, Starbucks offered him a $50 gift card "I didn't accept it because its like an insult overall" Human Beings ffee beans Beans Starbucks printed a racial slur on a customer's cup and they offered him a $50 gift card as an apology! They need way more than one day of racial-bia:s training. Go to your local #Starbucks and demand an apology! And always insist they get your name right! booleanop.com/opinioneditori... Item: 2 of 2 Items in order: 2 B----- Tne: 8:44:56 AM


Media Coverage

Several media outlets covered the story, including CNN, Mashable, [12] The LA Times,[13] Grub Street[14] and more.

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