Starbucks has reversed its stance on the ban on workers wearing shirts and pins that support the Black Lives Matter movement. The ban first took place on account that it will threaten “customer relations or otherwise unreasonably interferes with Starbucks public image.”
This memo, first reported to Buzzfeed News by an employee, states that this ban on BLM pins is due to company policy against accessories "that advocated a political, religious or personal issue."
Despite the affirmative stance on remaining neutral on controversial issues, employees were quick to point out that Starbucks has shown support for other political and personal issues in the past, such as their release to a collection of pride merchandise in support of the LGBTQ+ community. Additionally, employees report that they are encouraged to wear pride apparel in June.
Many on twitter were angered by the double standards that employees had to follow, and others have posted #boycottstarbucks and #cancelstarbuck. In response to the outrage on Twitter and other social media platforms, Starbucks repealed the ban. Employees are free to wear t-shirts, decorate masks, and wear pins as they see fit in support of the movement. Starbucks also pledged 250,000 t-shirts to store partners with graphics that promote the BLM movement.
Animosity towards the company persists as some label Starbucks as insincere and only acting to appeal in the public. Overall, this event shows the power social media has in fostering change and keeping multi-billion dollar companies accountable for their actions.