During the holiday season, Starbucks is known for two things: extra sugary seasonal drinks, and cups that celebrate the Christmas spirit. But in 2015, the company decided to take a more non-denominational stance with their cups. Instead of doing a Christmas-themed design, they debuted simple red cups. In a statement about the cups, the vice president of the company, Jeffrey Fields, said, “In the past, we have told stories with our holiday cups designs. This year we wanted to usher in the holidays with a purity of design that welcomes all of our stories.”
Some customers, however, were not pleased. Joshua Feuerstein shared a video on his Facebook page where he said “political correct-ness” had prompted Starbucks to “take Christ and Christmas off their cups.” He started a “movement” to go into Starbucks and say your name is “Merry Christmas,” so that employees were forced to write that on the cups. The video went viral, and Feuerstein told CNN, “I think Starbucks has gotten the message that the Christian majority in this country has awakened and are demanding that our voice be heard.” Much social media backlash ensued, with many backing Feuerstein, and many defending Starbucks.
Even then-presidential candidate Donald Trump weighed in on the issue, saying “I have one of the most successful Starbucks, in Trump Tower. Maybe we should boycott Starbucks? I don’t know. Seriously, I don’t care… If I become president, we’re all going to be saying Merry Christmas again, that I can tell you.”