Starbucks is having a rough couple of months.
Just weeks after the nation’s largest coffee chain sparked outrage with its plain-red “holiday” cups, and just days after a customer angrily confronted a drive-thru employee who nicked her credit card, Starbucks is under fire again over a statue used to hold coffee beans in one of its locations.
Actress Thandie Newton snapped a photo of the statue in a London shop and posted it to her Twitter page.
— Thandie Newton (@thandienewton) January 4, 2016
“Seriously, @Starbucks?” the Crash and Pursuit of Happyness star captioned the photo. “At the counter – Loin cloth and Safari hat on a black child. Happy New Year circa 19th century.”
The photo made the rounds on Twitter before Starbucks issued a tweet of its own, claiming it was “concerned” about the statue and had removed it:
@thandienewton we are very concerned to learn of this incident & we can’t apologise enough. We have removed the figure & are investigating.
— Starbucks Help (@starbuckshelp) January 5, 2016
“Serving as a welcoming place for everyone is core to who we are as a company,” the chain said later in a formal statement. “As we became aware of the offense, we immediately removed the figure from our store. We aim to provide an inclusive environment for all customers and communities in which we serve, and we are working with our partners (employees) to avoid similar incidents from happening in the future. We apologize for the offense caused.”
Newton, who is set to star in HBO’s upcoming Westworld reboot, is hardly the only person with gripes about Starbucks. The chain’s decision to issue nondescript red cups for the holiday season led some, including Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump, to consider a boycott against the company (and spurred Breitbart News to create the ultimate Christmas holiday cup).
Last week, the company was forced to fire a California drive-thru employee who allegedly copied a customers’ credit card information and used it to purchase hundreds of dollars worth of groceries. Starbucks said it was “extremely troubled” to learn of the incident.
In November, Breitbart News reported exclusively on campaign contribution data that proves Starbucks is the “most liberal” coffee chain in America.