Yesha Callahan

Thandie Newton Calls Out A UK Starbucks On Their Racist Counter Display

Thandie Newton recently visited a London Starbucks and discovered more than just a couple of brand spankin’ new Latte Macchiatos. The British-born Actress posted a photo on Twitter of a display statue by the register of a black child wearing a loin cloth and a safari hat while carrying coffee beans.

“Seriously @Starbucks? At the counter – Loin cloth and Safari hat on a black child,” she Tweeted to her followers. “Happy New Year circa 19th century.”

The coffeehouse chain responded on their Twitter Help account later that day.

In a statement provided to ET, a company spokesperson had this to say:

“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.”)

Not sure why Starbucks thought this was a fitting method of displaying coffee beans. Do you agree with Thandie?

  1. January 14, 2016 - Reply

    Good for her.

  2. January 14, 2016 - Reply

    She’s right. It is a known fact that many Afro-Colombians back then (centuries ago) were slaves and were forced to work in the mines and the farms (in bringing in supplies like cocoa beans, etc.) throughout South America. Even today, Afro-Colombians are discriminated against today. The statue is unnecessary and it is stereotypical. Of course, Starbucks will try to save face by issuing another “apology.” This is why we have every right to stand up against oppression and injustice. We have the right to fight for the truth.

  3. January 14, 2016 - Reply

    That’s really messed up (the statue, not the tweet). I can’t imagine thinking that it was appropriate display.

  4. January 14, 2016 - Reply

    Welcome to my side of the Atlantic Ladies and Gentleman. Investigating what exactly? It was clearly racist, I bet you any money somebody will be the fall guy/woman for this. The fact he had one of those colonizer hats and wearing a loincloth is disgusting. A lot of black English people would of not found this offensive as we only learn slavery was an American thing and Britain try’s there best to dissociate themselves from it and their counter argument is well “we abolished it first.” What makes it worse we don’t learn about anything to do with colonizers, but we must never forget the Jewish people in the Holocaust even though it was not just white Jewish people being killed -_-England is in that colour-blind madness haze and you mention Racism it is an American Export -__-. This is going to a fun year jam-packed with racism and colourism -_-

  5. January 14, 2016 - Reply

    I find this caricature racially offensive because I know the back story from which it originated. It symbolizes the enslavement and oppression of African-Colombians.
    African children were used as runners in sugarcane fields, as well as in gold mines and were literally compared to monkeys by slaveholders. To this day, there are remote parts of South America where slavery still exists. Whats even worse, The Colombian government tried to whitewash the African population by encouraging ethnic procreation with white Spaniards in an effort to erase the African connection, and “lighten” the descendants, hence the old racist term ” Mulatto”. The same bizarre practice was used in Brazil and Australia.

    Knowledge is power!

    • January 14, 2016 - Reply

      @Chazz A

      Excellent Words.

      Yes, the Spaniards and the Portuguese imperialists in South America used the encomienda, the caste system (with peninsulares, creoles, etc.) and other tools of oppression to harm black people including the ingenious people of South America. The attempted whitewashing of the African population occurred in Colombia and Brazil. That is why we believe in advocating the continuation of our black communities forever. The PCN organization in Colombia is made up of Afro-Colombians who are fighting for justice today.

      • January 14, 2016 - Reply

        Its been awhile since I studied this history but I remember a town in Columbia, I think it was El Choco, that endured brutal 20th century oppression and some were even forced to work as drug mules for Escobar’s Medellin cartel.
        As horrible as it may be, forced slavery still exists in this world today.

        • January 14, 2016 - Reply

          @Chazz A

          Yes, forced slavery does exist in the world like in Mauritania too.

  6. January 16, 2016 - Reply

    That statue is grotesque

    • January 16, 2016 - Reply

      @Mary Burrell

      I agree with you Sister. The statue is very disrespectful and it mocks the victims of the Maafa and labor exploitation.

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