Starbucks has come up with a new holiday cup for this year’s holiday season, and it has sparked controversy.
The new cup, which has shades of red along with the company’s logo, arrived in stores last month, with several critics claiming that the new cups do not contain images of Christmas or Jesus Christ.
Starbucks said that it removed “symbols of the season” that it used in the past. In October, when the new cups were introduced, Starbucks vice president Jeffrey Fields said the coffee chain “wanted to usher in the holidays with a purity of design that welcomes all of our stories.”
Joshua Feuerstein, a former pastor, posted a message on Facebook, saying, “Starbucks REMOVED CHRISTMAS from their cups because they hate Jesus.” In addition, he also posted a video, wherein he urged customers to give their names as “Merry Christmas,” which he says will compel Starbucks employees to say the name. Hashtag #MerryChristmasStarbucks soon drew massive attention on Facebook.
As reported by CNN, referring to the 10 million views he received on his post, Feuerstein wrote, “I think Starbucks has gotten the message that the Christian majority in this country has awakened and are demanding that our voice be heard.”
In response, Starbucks said that the new cups are a “blank canvas” that allow “customers to tell their Christmas stories in their own way.” Fields said that the company, which has been introducing holiday cups with different designs since 1997, is using the new cup as a “more open way to usher in the holidays.” As reported by TIME, he said in a press release, “Starbucks has become a place of sanctuary during the holidays. We’re embracing the simplicity and the quietness of it.”