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Starbucks Red Cup Conundrum May Only Be Internet-Wide

IMG_0793Starbucks released their newest holiday cup to the public on Nov. 3, and since then, it has become an Internet sensation, but not in a positive light. The cup, which is solid red and hosts the siren (which is a half woman, half fish mythological creature) logo in green with a white lid, has been the center of attention and confrontation since its release. It is difficult to log in to any social media account without being bombarded with posts, memes and pictures of this red cup, either claiming that “Starbucks hates Christmas” or others getting offended that people did not like the red cup in the first place.

Anna Lunati

Anna Lunati, a senior marketing major at the University of Mississippi, said that she has seen the online posts about people taking offense to the red cups, but has never spoken to anyone who was actually offended.

“It definitely doesn’t offend me at all,” Lunati said. “I’ve never actually met anyone who was offended by the red cups, either. People are mad that other people are getting upset about the cups, but that’s it.”

Zack Colvett, a junior general studies major, said that he had also never met anyone who was genuinely offended by the cups.

Zack Colvett and Elisa Whitsell
Zack Colvett and Elisa Whitsell


“No, I’m pretty sure everyone knows that’s dumb,” Colvett said. “I don’t go to Starbucks often because the prices are outrageous, but the cups are not the reason I don’t go.”

Ike Dulin III, a senior religion major, said that as a Christian, he is not offended nor does he know anyone who is personally offended by the cups, but does not feel like the cups represent Christmas.

“I do not feel like the Starbucks holiday cups represent Christmas, but at the same time there are tons of mass produced products like Angel Soft toilet paper that aren’t red and green with Christmas trees and a cross on them,” Dulin said. “The fact that they are not openly trying to promote Christianity in no way makes them seem ‘anti-Christian’ to me. If the owner was a Christian and was being actively prohibited from putting Christmas on his cups it would be something to concern Christians because that would actually be denying the freedom to express his religious ideals, but I don’t see how getting a cup of coffee without Santa Claus on it really affects anyone’s religious freedom.”

Dulin thinks that the beginnings of this conflict began from a video posted online that caused a stir. Though Dulin believes a few people have made their negative opinions about the holiday cups known, for the most part, he thinks that most Christians disagree with the video.

Ike Dulin III
Ike Dulin III

“I honestly feel like less Christians agree with this video than the media has seen so far,” Dulin said. “I honestly think that the idea of this argument could very easily make Christians, which are generally assumed at times to be in agreement with the video, look bad. Some might agree with this video, but it definitely cannot be assumed that this is the position of all Christians.”

To see the video in question, follow this link.

Adrian Neidig, the shift supervisor at Starbucks on West Jackson Ave., said that he could not comment specifically on the conflict with the red cups because he was unsure of corporate protocol on the issue. He did, however, state that business had not been affected by the disagreements online, and that no one has caused any issues about the cup inside the store.

As for next year’s red cup, Lunati has an idea for Starbucks.

“I think they should make a blank cup and give out those cheap little pens with each coffee,” Lunati said. “Let them draw their own damn snowflakes on their cup.”

Shelby Louwerens Nelson is a senior print journalism major at the Meek School of Journalism and New Media. She can be reached at slouwere@go.olemiss.edu.

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