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It seems like every holiday season, there's some sort of controversy surrounding Starbucks. Usually it involves the red holiday cups and whether they're Christmassy enough. But this year, it seems like Starbucks controversies have all had something to do with President-elect Donald Trump. First, on Wednesday, a Miami man was captured yelling, "Trump!" at a barista because he felt his latte wasn't made quickly enough.
And now, Trump supporters are rallying behind the #TrumpCup hashtag to make a statement about discrimination against Republicans. Throughout Trump's campaign, supporters have occasionally asked Starbucks baristas to write "Trump" on their cups. Scott Baio has taken credit for starting the trend:
But before the election, a video started circulating of a Trump supporter asking a Starbucks employee to write "Trump." In the video, the barista is seen refusing, and a coworker is seen apparently calling the police. This video caused outrage among conservatives online, who saw it as discrimination against their political beliefs.
Joe Biggs, who works at the website Infowars, came up with the #TrumpCup idea Thursday in response to the video.
Tim Treadstone, who goes by the social-media handle Baked Alaska, posted about "Operation #TrumpCup" on Twitter, encouraging his followers to try it and take a video if baristas refuse to comply. "All these businesses are discriminating against Trump supporters," he said on Periscope. "We're not taking this anymore."
Treadstone made it clear that this wasn't a "protest" exactly, but a statement about Trump and the future of the U.S. in general. It's also meant as a reminder that there are lots of Trump supporters out there in general, and they shouldn't be ignored. (Plus, a lot of people just wanted to annoy liberals while they get their coffee.)
The concept went viral, with other Trump supporters chiming in with their own #TrumpCups.
But not everyone was on board. Some thought it was pointless, since by buying coffee these people were supporting Starbucks with their wallets, and the company's CEO, Howard Schultz, endorsed Hillary Clinton.
A representative for Starbucks gave the following statement:
"Over the years, writing customer names on cups and calling out their names has been a fun ritual in our stores. Rarely has it been abused or taken advantage of. We hope and trust that our customers will continue to honor that tradition. We don't require our partners to write or call out names."
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