News is abuzz in the Korean language and 교포 blogosphere about evil racist American Starbucks. The franchise, which is waning in the USA, is still super popular in Korea due to it’s local perception as a means by which one can temporarily raise their social status. Not so much in the States though, where apparently, Starbucks hates Koreans.
It all went down when two Korean customers went into a Starbucks in Georgia and ordered two drinks. Instead of writing the customer’s name on the cups, as is customary, the clerk simply drew what appear to be “chinky eyes” on the cup, a derogatory action intended to insult the Korean customers. The photo below is now going viral on Korean coffee sites, and it may be only a matter of time before Korean newspapers pick up on it.
Will this teach Koreans how stupid it is to blindly worship name brands? Probably not. Will this spell the end of Starbucks in Korea? Not likely. I’d be willing to bet that Marc Jacobs could piss all over the Korean flag and still sell Louis Vuitton handbags all day long up and down the peninsula. Since the Starbucks brand (much like Louis Vuitton or Chanel) is essentially a vehicle by which Koreans display their buying power or “prestige“, it’s going to be very hard for such incidents to affect their overall business in Korea. After all, there aren’t many other famous, expensive foreign brands of coffee to flock to.
The victim apparently complained to the manager, who apologized and offered a gift certificate, which obviously ain’t going to appease the Asian-American public who are now out for blood – and rightfully so. If a black person ordered a cup of coffee at Starbucks, and the clerk drew a monkey on the cup, I’d imagine that an apology and gift certificate probably wouldn’t suffice either. No word on whether or not the errant employee has been extradited to Korea yet, but hopefully the jackass was at least fired. It’s a shame the victim didn’t get a picture of the clerk’s face.
Main question is: Will Koreans be able to separate the actions of one employee from the company as a whole? Some ajumma online Naver cafes have already pledged to boycott all Starbucks products, unless of course they are offered free coffee for life.
More here: Starbucks Hates Koreans