When Starbucks rolled out their annual holiday cups earlier in November, it was believed that, unlike in years past, they were completely controversy-proof. But new allegations that the company is "pushing its gay agenda" have undermined the holiday cheer and swept the beloved holiday cups into a new wave of controversy.
The cups, which have a mostly-white design with red and green accents, feature hearts, presents, and a Christmas tree. But it is the small design above the Starbucks logo of two unseen people holding hands that is drawing mixed reviews.
Buzzfeed News reporter Vanessa Wong suggested a possible connection between those holding hands and a commercial Starbucks launched to promote the cups that features two women holding hands.
"While people who follow both Starbucks holiday cup news and LGBT issues celebrated the video, the ordinary Starbucks customer probably didn't realize the cup might have a gay agenda," Wong wrote.
The revelation of the possible meaning of the design of course drew immediate attention on social media, with both positive and negative commentary.
One supporter of the "gay agenda" will be shelling out more bucks at Starbucks now.
I'm going to be buying tons of Starbucks if indeed their cups are pushing the gay agenda.— Christian Kiefer (@xiankiefer) November 17, 2017
"Just another progressive liberal company," claimed one commenter.
Ban Starbucks for not supporting everyone and pushing one idealism upon us all! Just another Progressive Liberal company owner pushing their divisive agenda upon everyone who is not a liberal or may disagree with gay lifestyle. Let Liberals buy the cool aid from Starbucks! Ban!— Michael Crowell (@Michael22973515) November 17, 2017
One person called for a #BoycottStarbucks.
@Starbucks looks like Starbucks is at it again... promoting gay and lesbian Christmas. Other than being seen at Starbucks not sure why anyone drinks their coffee... it’s burnt and sucks. #BoycottStarbucks— Tim (@wave_slder) November 17, 2017
Another comically chimed in that this was part of the gay agenda all along.
So can I check off "Ruin Christmas with Starbucks cups" on my Gay Agenda? pic.twitter.com/T13hMnJtJc— MeltLikeButta (@jwbutta) November 17, 2017
While Starbucks did not confirm or deny BuzzFeed's hypotheses that the hands belong to a same sex couple, they did release a statement emphasizing inclusivity for all.
"Each year during the holidays we aim to bring our customers an experience that inspires the spirit of the season, and we will continue to embrace and welcome customers from all backgrounds and religions in our stores around the world."
Photo credit: Instagram / @starbucks