Starbucks Employee Suspended for Writing "Monkey" on Black Customer's Cup [Photo]

Yesterday (Nov. 27), local Maryland news station WLBT 3 shared that a Black Starbucks customer recently went through a troubling situation while visiting the popular coffee chain. According to Monique Pugh, on Nov. 19, she received an order that read “Monkey” instead of her name.

via: WLBT 3

Customer Monique Pugh believes the Nov. 19 incident was racially motivated. She says she was the only Black woman at the Starbucks store in Maryland’s Annapolis Mall when an employee reportedly entered “monkey” where her name should have been.

“If you didn’t hear my name, you should have said, ‘Excuse me, can you repeat yourself?’ Not once did she do that. She labeled me what she wanted to label me,” Pugh said.

Impeccable Brands, the company that operates that Starbucks store involved in the incident, says that the “label was made in error.” Nonetheless, in a letter to Pugh, they apologized and said the employee involved has been suspended, pending further investigation.

The company also wrote that with additional training, they will work to make sure this doesn’t happen again.

Pugh says she feels the apology and letter were “bogus.”

“To say you’re taking the necessary steps to make sure that word isn’t put on any more customers’ drinks, it’s like, ‘What were you doing before?’” she said. “And the fact that they keep saying it was an honest mistake. So, now, it’s an honest mistake and a labeling error?”

A Starbucks spokesperson made sure to differentiate between a Starbucks-operated store and a licensed store, such as the one at Annapolis Mall, but Pugh says there should not be a difference in how customers are treated.

“It’s triggering because it’s basically like, ‘OK, this occurred in our store, but we’re wiping our hands clean.’ Maybe [Starbucks] corporate does need to get involved,” she said.

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