Starbucks clearly knows when they're beat, even if they won't admit to it. Last week the coffee giant announced an ill-conceived initiative in which baristas were encouraged to write "Race Together" on cups to spark conversations about race; now, following a swift and intense backlash, said cup-writing campaign is now over per an internal memo posted to Starbucks' official website.
In the letter intended for Starbucks partners (AKA employees), Schultz announces Sunday as the end of the cup-writing phase of the "Race Together" campaign. "While there has been criticism of the initiative — and I know this hasn't been easy for any of you — let me assure you that we didn’t expect universal praise," he writes.
The cup-writing campaign was criticized by seemingly just about everyone for being utterly tonedeaf, with the social media outcry causing a Starbucks executive to deactivate his Twitter account. In the memo, Schultz insists it "was always just the catalyst for a much broader and longer term conversation" and that "this initiative is far from over." A Starbucks spokesperson tells the Associated Press "the change is not a reaction to that pushback," which seems highly unlikely.
Hopefully this means Starbucks is doing away with their awful plan to display a list of race "conversation starters" by the register, which included bizarre Mad Libs-style statements like "In the past year, I have been to the home of someone of a different race ___ times."