Earlier this month, the Seattle-based coffee behemoth officially granted restroom access to customers and non-customers alike. It then announced purchasing food or drink is no longer required to spend time at a Starbucks. Kelly, who made a high-profile move to NBC after leaving Fox News in 2017, is afraid of who customers might meet at the company’s cafes.
“For the paying customers who go in with their kids, do you really want to deal with a mass of homeless people or whoever is in there — could be drug addicted, you don’t know when you’re there with your kids paying for the services of the place,” Kelly said during her broadcast Tuesday morning. She was responding to a comment from Jenna Bush Hager, the Today correspondent and daughter of former President George W. Bush, who was expressing sympathy for individuals who may be in need of a public space.
“I see the other side of it,” Bush Hager said. “I think some of these people don’t have places to go. I’ve seen people sit in our local Starbucks here in New York City that are homeless, that don’t have another place.”
Starbucks updated its bathroom policy following the arrests of two black men at a Philadelphia cafe in April. One of the men was denied access to the lavatory, and neither made a purchase during their visit. The individuals were waiting on a third party to arrive for a business meeting when the location’s manager called police. Following the arrests, the men were released without any charges being filed. The incident sparked national protests.
Following the backlash, the company announced plans for an afternoon of racial-bias training at more than 8,000 outposts in America, which is taking place today. Starbucks has clarified its new policies to note some behavior, such as drug use or sleeping on the premises, will not be tolerated.
• Megyn Kelly Attacks Starbucks for Allowing Anyone to Use Bathroom: ‘Do You Really Want to Deal with Homeless People?’ [RawStory]
• Protesters Storm Starbucks for Calling Police on Black Customers [E]
• Starbucks Bathrooms Will Now Be Open to Everyone [E]
• You Officially No Longer Need to Buy Anything to Sit Inside Starbucks [E]
• All Starbucks Coverage [E]