While the uproar over this year’s holiday cups at Starbucks is a bit quieter than last year, it still exists.
Some of the hubhub this year can be traced back to a fake news article titled “Starbucks Unveils New Satanic Holiday Cups.”
The Babylon Bee, a satirical news site, published an article about this year’s cups, which circulated the internet at the beginning of the month.
Julia McDearis, a Dacula woman who previously worked as a youth pastor for The Bridge Community Church, is one person who shared the link on her page.
Since it was published Nov. 3, a week before the cups were even released, the article has been shared nearly 13,000 times, liked close to 12,000 times and commented on nearly 1,000 times on Facebook.
“I didn’t know what satire meant at the time,” McDearis said.
After reading the article, McDearis said she doesn’t know what to believe now.
“I haven’t actually looked at the cups,” she said. “I was confused by why they would write that.”
McDearis said she doesn’t frequent the national chain, but goes about once every other week.
The article she read further goes on to say the employees were chanting “All Hail Lucifer” at the phony press conference. It also features a Photoshopped image of a green holiday Starbucks cup with a satanic pentacle in the place of the classic logo.
Green cups were only part of the soft launch, Ansley Simpson, manager on duty for the Starbucks on Dawsonville Highway, said. They were only available for a few days, but not because of controversy, Simpson said.
“There hasn’t been as much controversy this year,” Simpson said. “At least not as much as last year.”
Barista Benjamin White said the goal of this year’s cups was to promote a unified, global face of the brand by allowing the customers to design the cups.
“We hope that this year’s red holiday cup designs express the shared spirit of the holidays as told by our customers,” said Sharon Rothstein, Starbucks global chief marketing officer, on the Starbucks website.
Since 1997, the global corporation has released special red cups at the start of the holiday season.
This year the company has 13 varieties, created by their customers from across the world. According to the Starbucks website, it received 1,200 submissions from 13 countries in eight days. The cups will be in 25,000 Starbucks locations in 75 countries.
A display sign in the store reads: “Our customers around the world turned our red cups into works of art. Sharing what the season means to them, and reminding us of what we have in common — our collective holiday spirit.”
The cups came from as far away as South Korea, Russia, Canada, Indonesia and Dubai. Some were made by customers in closer places like New York, Washington, Pennsylvania and Illinois.
Barista Josh Hofmeister said he doesn’t have much of an opinion about the cups.
“I think they’re just cups,” Hofmeister said.