[By Julia Main]

Global coffee chain Starbucks has unveiled new cup artwork, just in time for the 2016 American election. The green and white design features a continuous-stroke drawing of over 100 people, created by Japanese-American artist Shogo Ota. The inspiration for the design was unity and human connections.

“The green cup and the design represent the connections Starbucks has as a community with its partners (employees) and customers,” said Starbucks chairman and CEO Howard Schultz. “During a divisive time in our country, Starbucks wanted to create a symbol of unity as a reminder of our shared values, and the need to be good to each other.”

Of course, no good deed goes unpunished. Consumers were quick to pick up their pitchforks, threatening to boycott Starbucks over social media and accusing the coffee chain of political bias.

As in previous years, the company is also accused of attacking Christian values by not incorporating a traditional holiday message into the cup design. The best part about the Christmas-crusader outrage? The green cups aren’t even part of Starbucks’ holiday campaign.

How one could glean schemes of political brainwashing and anti-Christian sentiments from a green cup with an illustration of connected people is hard to say. The public reaction to Starbucks’ new cup design is proof that there will always be those looking for controversy, even where none exists.

On the flip side, most communications professionals were supportive of Starbucks’ green cup campaign. To the critics, they had one thing to say: “Grow the cup up.”

(Photo by Dénnis Kenall via Pixabay)