Actress Thandie Newton slammed a Starbucks on Twitter for a very insensitive statue of a black child wearing a loin cloth carrying a basket of coffee beans.
"Seriously Starbucks? At the counter - Loin cloth and Safari hat on a black child. Happy New Year circa 19th century," Newton said in a sarcasm-filled Tweet expressing her disapproval of the "artwork."
Starbucks responded by tweeting back an apology, claiming the figure had been removed and an “investigation” is underway.
@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
What is there to investigate? It will never be clear why companies, government agencies, educational institutions and the like always try to pacify those who call out any kind of wrongdoing by offering to "investigate" the situation.
The store used a decorative figure representing a black child collecting coffee beans which was extremely insensitive and exploits the hard labor children in developing countries endure. There's nothing to investigate, just don't do that.
There are undoubtedly many identical statues floating around in other Starbucks locations because they typically all have the same décor.
While some may say Newton overreacted or try to argue that the statue was just "art," those excuses simply highlight the lack of understanding that people have regarding cultural sensitivity.
Yes, here's a great idea ... let's pay homage to all the little naked colored children made to endure strenuous labor so that you may enjoy your caramel macchiato.
You may not be able to change other people's circumstances or hardships and you don't have to feel ashamed for reaping the benefits of their labor but you certainly don't have to exploit their situations either.
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