Thandie Newton calls out coffee shop chain for offensive statue

Jan 9, 2016 at 4:44 a.m. ET
Image: Brian To/WENN.com

Oh dear, Starbucks. More controversy has hit the coffee company after actress Thandie Newton called them out for an offensive statue on the counter of one of its London outlets.

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Newton posted an image of the controversial item — a young black boy holding up a basket of coffee beans to promote Colombia Narino espresso beans — on her Twitter account on Monday, Jan. 4 with the caption "Seriously @Starbucks? At the counter - Loin cloth and Safari hat on a black child. Happy New Year circa 19th century."

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Starbucks' customer service department quickly responded to the 43-year-old actress: 

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On Jan. 6, the company issued the following statement: 

"Serving as a welcoming place for everyone is core to who we are as a company. As we became aware of the offense, we immediately removed the figure from our store. We aim to provide an inclusive environment for all customers and communities in which we serve, and we are working with our partners (employees) to avoid similar incidents from happening in the future. We apologize for the offense caused. (sic)"

This is just the latest in a string of controversial incidents for the global coffee chain. Last November it was attacked by an evangelical Christian group for its non-festive ombre red holiday cup and accused of waging a "war on Christmas." In December the company was called out by Momofuku boss David Chang after it began selling bagel balls, baked goods strongly resembling a product that's been produced by Momofuku sister company Milk Bar for many years.

Earlier in 2015 Starbucks axed its "Race Together" campaign — which involved baristas writing #RaceTogether on coffee cups in a bid to start a dialogue on race with customers — after it was slammed on social media.

What do you think of the Starbucks display? Let us know.

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