Jesus may or may not have died for our sins, but one thing is clear: He never turned water into a Gingerbread Latte.
A vocal evangelical Christians is angry at Starbucks over this year’s design of its festive red cups, which undergone a minimalist makeover. Last week, the coffee chain rolled out a new “two-toned ombré design” much to everyone’s delight.
Well, it didn’t take long for that to brew up controversy online.
Joshua Feuerstein, an evangelist-turned-social media personality with a Facebook following of 1.8 million, posted a video complaining that Starbucks scrubbed holiday-related pictures, like ornaments or trees, from its cups.
“Do you realize that Starbucks wanted to take Christ and Christmas off of their brand new cups? That’s why they’re just plain red,” he screeched in a post that has racked up 12.4 million views and 155,000 likes since Thursday.
Feuerstein is leading a “movement” called #MerryChristmasStarbucks where he’s challenging people to tell baristas that their name is “Merry Christmas,” which supposedly tricks the chain into “putting ‘Merry Christmas’ on your cup,” he said.
Despite that the attention, it looks like Feuerstein alone with the outrage. The hashtag, which has a completely negative sentiment score on Topsy, has been a fertile ground for trolls. Plenty of people pointed out that the brand sells a lot of other Christmas-themed items:
— Pumpkin Spiceotope (@BuckyIsotope) November 9, 2015
— wendy (@wenm2911) November 8, 2015
— Stefanie Viar (@stefanieviarrr) November 9, 2015
— geoff grant (@needsinsulin) November 8, 2015
In a statement provided to Digiday, Starbucks said its “core values as a company is to create a culture of belonging, inclusion and diversity.” Starting tomorrow, Starbucks stores across the U.S. “turn red” in celebration of the Christmas season, which, it noted, includes many Christmas-branded items.
It wouldn’t officially be Christmas in the U.S. if someone wasn’t up in arms about an imagined war on it.
Images via Starbucks.