Starbucks May Or May Not Be Caving To Right-Wing Whining And Removing Pride Flags From Its Stores, Depending On Who You Ask

This year’s Pride Month seems more volatile than usual, and the venom sure isn’t coming from the LGBTQ+ community. Then again, the right-wing warmed up by cheering on Kid Rock after he shot up some defenseless Bud Light cans. This was followed by conservative tantrums over Target Pride displays, many of which were removed by the retailer. The grousing reached a fevered pitch with meltdowns over Chick-fil-a hiring a diversity and inclusion VP and Cracker Barrel showcasing a rainbow-themed rocking chair, which prompted the Texas Family Project to seriously tweet, “@CrackerBarrel has fallen. A once family friendly establishment has caved to the mob.”

“[T]he mob” is an interesting way to frame things, considering that far-right cries for boycotts seem to happen on a daily basis these days. For its part, Cracker Barrel stood firm last week throughout criticism while responding, “Thanks for sharing! Our teams take pride in creating a welcoming, safe atmosphere where people can enjoy time with family and friends the moment they walk through our doors.”

And what of Starbucks and Pride Month? That answer is a complicated one, although Starbucks has issued a statement, which we’ll get to in a moment. First up, though, a Tuesday tweet from Starbucks Workers United read, “In the middle of Pride Month, Starbucks BANS Pride decorations in stores across the United States.”

This led to a quick celebration (and a Lauren Boebert retweet) from Talking Points USA founder Charlie Kirk, who wrote, “BREAKING: Starbucks has banned Pride decorations in its stores halfway through Pride Month, the company’s workers union has revealed…. Keep the pressure on, folks.”

And from there, The Daily Beast followed up with statements from both the union and the company. A Starbucks Workers United spokesperson claimed that an Oklahoma cafe’s baristas were told that “it was a safety issue related to the recent attacks on Target,” whereas Massachusetts workers claimed that they were told, “[T]hey didn’t have any labor hours to decorate for Pride.”

However, a Starbucks spokesperson denied these allegations as “false information.” The company added, “There has been no change to any policy on this matter and we continue to encourage our store leaders to celebrate with their communities including for U.S. Pride month in June.”

(Via The Daily Beast)