Hear that? It's the sound of someone in Starbucks' marketing department about to get fired. The coffee giant is profusely apologizing after actress Thandie Newton drew attention to a questionable store display on Twitter earlier this week, reports the Mirror.
The actress posted a photo of a statue at the counter of a central London Starbucks that was being used to display Colombian coffee beans:
Seriously @Starbucks? At the counter - Loin cloth and Safari hat on a black child. Happy New Year circa 19th century pic.twitter.com/kD3qgKmti1— Thandie Newton (@thandienewton) January 4, 2016
The company soon issued an apology to the actress for its eyebrow-raising choice of decor:
@thandienewton we are very concerned to learn of this incident & we can’t apologise enough. We have removed the figure & are investigating.— Starbucks Help (@starbuckshelp) January 5, 2016
Unsurprisingly, the photo is drawing some ire from other Twitter users:
@thandienewton @khanyisile @Starbucks Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised. Robbing Ethiopian farmers to sell coffee at 1500% profit.— perfect hlongwane (@perfecthow) January 6, 2016
@thandienewton @Starbucks Did you have to get your morning madeline out of a mammy jar?— David Poland (@DavidPoland) January 5, 2016
Starbucks just can't seem to stay out of headlines lately: In November, the chain was decried as waging a "war on Christmas" when it issued its annual holiday cups in a decidedly non-festive plain red design, leading presidential candidate Donald Trump to consider a boycott. Then in December, the company was put on blast by Momofuku head honcho David Chang after it began carrying bagel balls, baked goods strongly resembling a product that's been produced by Momofuku sibling Milk Bar for several years. There was also a brief (and ridiculous) hubbub over some polar bear cookies, though that was quickly put to rest when it was revealed the cookies had been discontinued years earlier.
Update 1/6/2016 12:35 p.m.: Starbucks has issued the following formal statement:
"Serving as a welcoming place for everyone is core to who we are as a company. As we became aware of the offense, we immediately removed the figure from our store. We aim to provide an inclusive environment for all customers and communities in which we serve, and we are working with our partners (employees) to avoid similar incidents from happening in the future. We apologize for the offense caused."
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