(RNS) Yes, Virginia, there are people brandishing pitchforks because the new Starbucks cup is green and doesn’t have a snowflake.
On Tuesday (Nov. 1), the much-loved and much-derided coffee chain rolled out a cup with a white circle on a green background covered with an army of little cartoon faces drawn with a single line by artist Shogo Ota.
For some customers, this was the first salvo in what they see as the company’s annual “War on Christmas.”
“Starbucks is trying to take Jesus out of Christmas with the new cup,” someone named Jazmine H wrote on Twitter.
Others were upset that anyone could be upset. As another tweeter put it: “Time for another three months of outrage because the [S]tarbucks cups don’t say ‘[D]ecember 25th is [J]esus’ birthday and he was definitely real.'”
But the outrage — apparently primed after last year’s brouhaha over the company’s plain red cup — is premature. In a press release, Starbucks chairman and CEO Howard Schultz indicated the design was a reference to the election, not the coming holiday.
“During a divisive time in our country, Starbucks wanted to create a symbol of unity as a reminder of our shared values, and the need to be good to each other,” Schultz said.
Some possibly overcaffeinated customers weren’t having it.
“Screw you,” one Twitter user with the name #ScrewStarbucks wrote. “My coffee should NOT (and does NOT) come with political brainwashing. I dropped @Starbucks like a hot rock.”
Others — perhaps tea drinkers? — were more sanguine.
“Trying to figure out how I can possibly get offended by this Starbucks holiday cup,” a Twitter user named Geoff Kinns wrote. “I guess someone will find a way.”