On November 19th Monique Pugh walked into a Starbucks at the Annapolis Mall in Maryland and ordered a Caramel Frappuccino. When Ms. Pugh received her beverage with the order label on the side, opposed to having her name, it read ‘Monkey’.
According to Monique Pugh, who is African American, was trying to give them the benefit of the doubt that they didn’t catch her name, but to put ‘Monkey’ made her believe it was racial.
Starbucks response to the incident was that they thought it was merely a typo, but until their thought is fact the employee was suspended while an investigation into the matter is being performed, plus staff will be undergoing training to make sure that such an irresponsible and disturbing action never happens again.
An apology letter has been sent to Monique Pugh but she feels that it is hollow.
Unfortunately this isn’t the first time Starbucks has found themselves in the viral racial spotlight, in 2018, Donte Robinson and Rashon Nelson, both 23, were arrested on April 12 as they sat at the Starbucks waiting for an associate, without ordering anything, in which they agreed to a settlement with Starbucks for an undisclosed sum and an offer of free college tuition. Then in 2020, a Starbucks staff member told a Black customer to wait outside until his order is ready.
Take a look at the video below