Mixed Messages

Seriously, What is Going On With Starbucks Right Now?

Starbucks: a place that’s gay, a place that sells a variety of pink drinks, a place where pride lives all year round. That is, when they’re not allegedly removing Pride decorations or making up heinous scenarios for the purposes of training staff.

A recent clip from a Starbucks training video went viral after someone posted the extraordinarily tone-deaf segment in which one (fictional, cartoon) employee says—out of absolutely nowhere—”gay men are so weak.”


straight people dont even work at starbucks what is this for #starbucks #barista #fyp

♬ original sound – jay

Another training video has a (fictional, cartoon) employee referring to older customers as “dinosaurs.”

Now look, we’ve all been there. We’ve all had to watch some training video (usually made in the 90s) in which besuited men and women put themselves in fictional sexual harassment scenarios to illustrate what not to do in a workplace. And if “The Office” taught us anything, it’s that creating fictional examples of workplace no-nos can often be just as bad as the no-nos in question.

This weird training video—in combination with the coffee chain’s recent vague statements about banning/not banning Pride decorations in stores—has left the Internet aflutter. I mean, is Starbucks one of us…or not?

The jury is out, basically. Yes, Starbucks has traditionally helped pay for a lot of gender-affirming care for its workers in the past. But the company—like so many others terrified of the anti-Bud Light mob—seems to be dialing back their support for the community.

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Tags: Gay Gay Men Union
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