Controversy is coming to town. Starbucks' festive red cups, which mark the upcoming holiday season annually, are being tainted this year by scandal. The tipping point of the scandal began after an American evangelist, Joshua Feuerstein, aired his grievances about the cup in a now-viral Facebook post.
As Starbucks unveiled earlier this month, the classic red cups — which in the past have included symbols like ornaments, reindeer, and more — were wiped clean of any graphics this year. Instead, the holiday design is minimalistic, featuring a "two-toned ombré design, with a bright poppy color on top that shades into a darker cranberry below."
In the press release to Us Weekly last week, the coffee giant's vice president of design and content, Jeffrey Fields, explained why this year's cups were simpler in design. “Starbucks has become a place of sanctuary during the holidays,” he told Us. “We’re embracing the simplicity and the quietness of it. It’s a more open way to usher in the holiday."
However, some Starbucks fans and critics — namely Feuerstein — are not fans of the design. "Starbucks REMOVED CHRISTMAS from their cups because they hate Jesus … SO I PRANKED THEM … and they HATE IT!!!!" he captioned a clip.
Starbucks REMOVED CHRISTMAS from their cups because they hate Jesus … SO I PRANKED THEM … and they HATE IT!!!! #shareUse #MERRYCHRISTMASSTARBUCKSFollow –> Joshua Feuerstein
Posted by Joshua Feuerstein on Thursday, November 5, 2015
In the video, he told his followers to join him in starting a movement. "I think in the age of political correctness we’ve become so open minded our brains have literally fallen out of our head," he says. "I decided instead of simply boycotting, well why don’t we just start a movement . . . Let’s start a movement and let’s call it, I don’t know, 'Hashtag Merry Christmas Starbucks.'"
The video has since been shared nearly 500,000 times, and has started a mini-movement under the hashtag: "#MerryChristmasStarbucks."
Despite the hullabaloo, a Starbucks spokesperson told Us Weekly in a statement that the plain cup actually encourages creativity among its fans.
"This year’s design is another way we are inviting our customers to create their own stories on our cups," the statement to Us read. "Our core value as a company is to create a culture of belonging, inclusion, and diversity. 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."
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