Starbucks Holiday Cups Are Stirring up Controversy

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.

"Just another progressive liberal company," claimed one commenter.

One person called for a #BoycottStarbucks.

Another comically chimed in that this was part of the gay agenda all along.

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