Actress Thandie Newton has publicly confronted Starbucks about a London store display featuring a black figure in a loin cloth and safari hat offering up Colombian coffee beans.
After seeing the figure perched on the store’s counter on Monday, Newton Tweeted out an imagine of the statue and posted: “Seriously @Starbucks? At the counter – Loin cloth and Safari hat on a black child. Happy New Year circa 19th century.”
— Thandie Newton (@thandienewton) January 4, 2016
The coffee chain was quick to respond with an apology via its official social media account, Tweeting directly to the actress: “@thandienewton we are very concerned to learn of his incident & we can’t apologise enough. We have removed the figure & are investigating.”
@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
The incident follows a string of controversial episodes surrounding the coffee chain this winter. In November, a conservative Christian host blasted the chain’s plain red holiday cups. Then Starbucks customers noticed that the polar bear cookies looked like they were bleeding from the neck—instead of wearing a festive red scarf. And last week, the coffee chain terminated an employee for stealing a customer’s credit information after a video showing the wronged customer’s confrontation went viral.