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Paris Starbucks under fire for racist caricature

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2012-09-12

A racist illustration drawn by a Starbucks employee in Paris has the coffee chain in hot water after a photo of the caricature was posted online, sparking a cross-Atlantic outcry and talk of similar incidents at other branches.

A Starbucks branch in Paris has come under fire for allegedly subjecting a Korean-American customer to a racist slur. Instead of asking for the customer’s name, which is normally written onto the customer’s cup in order for identification once their beverage is ready, the employee penned an offensive caricature in its place.

A friend of the customer posted a photograph of the illustration on forum Reddit on Tuesday, sparking outrage among web users and attracting the attention of the American press within hours.

INCRIMINATING PHOTO
Image posted on Reddit.com by user gsruff: "So, my Korean-American friend went to a Starbucks in Paris. Instead of asking for her name, this is how they labeled her drink."

When a similar incident became headline news earlier this year in Alpharetta, Georgia, Starbucks quickly dismissed the employee and posted the following apology online: “Starbucks does not tolerate discrimination of any kind and has a lengthy history of leading on and supporting policies that promote equality, inclusion and diversity. We were disappointed to hear of the poor experience this customer had in our store and have apologised to him several times. This experience is unacceptable and not indicative of the welcoming and respectful service we strive to offer our customers in our stores.”

Starbucks has yet to comment.

Date created : 2012-09-12

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