HomeLatest NewsStarbucks Directly Addresses K-Pop Fans’ Boycott Of NCT Collaboration

Starbucks Directly Addresses K-Pop Fans’ Boycott Of NCT Collaboration

What they said vs what the fans are saying.

Previously, we reported about NCT fans announcing a boycott of the group’s latest collaboration with Starbucks Korea in support of Palestine. The coffee chain has directly responded to this movement.

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NCT | Namu Wiki

In an email request to Koreaboo, the manager of Starbucks’ Global Communications put forth the company’s position regarding the situation. She clarified that Starbucks was not included in the official boycott list provided by the Palestinian-led BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanction movement) and emphasized the company’s official stance “about the conflict in the Middle East.”

Starbucks is a global company committed to providing a place where everyone feels welcome and a sense of belonging, anywhere in the world. We abhor hate and strongly reject violence against the innocent.

Despite false statements spread through social media, Starbucks has never contributed to any government or military operation in any way.

— Starbucks

On the company’s official website, Starbucks has also talked about its participation in relief efforts in Gaza through collaboration with local players like Alshaya Starbucks and Starbucks Indonesia.

Despite this, the global boycott movement remains steadfast in its commitment to boycotting Starbucks for a number of unaddressed or unsatisfactorily addressed issues. Arguably, the main catalyst for the current and ongoing boycott that remains to be redressed is the company’s condemnation of their union, Starbucks Workers United’s expression of solidarity with Palestine following October 7. Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) outlined the situation as follows:

In 2023, Starbucks condemned and then sued Starbucks Workers United over a tweet posted on October 7 with the text “Solidarity with Palestine!” alongside an image of a bulldozer breaking through the Gaza fence. The tweet, written by a single individual and not approved by union leaders, was quickly deleted and later replaced with a full statement in solidarity with Palestine. Starbucks accused the union of showing “support for violence perpetrated by Hamas” and claimed that the lawsuit was necessary to protect itself against the unauthorized use of its name and logo. In response, the union accused Starbucks of “seeking to exploit the ongoing tragedy in Gaza and Israel to bolster an anti-union campaign … by falsely attacking the union’s reputation with workers and the public.


CJPME also added that the corporation’s mistreatment of the union has been “widely viewed as a form of retaliation against support for Palestine, and many people have therefore decided that the company does not deserve their business.”

In addition to the incident between Starbucks and their workers’ union, supporters of the boycott cite concerns about Starbucks indirectly contributing to and supporting Israel. The CJPME notes that Starbucks’s former CEO Howard Schultz, who is still a major shareholder and the Chairman Emeritus of the corporation, has been a vocal supporter of Zionism. Notably, Schultz made headlines in 2021 for investing USD 1.7 billion dollars in an Israeli cybersecurity startup called Wiz. Some of the company’s biggest shareholders are also major investors in military companies with Israeli ties, including organizations like The Vanguard Group and BlackRock.

CJPME has, however, asserted that Starbucks does not provide direct financial support to Israel and has not operated any stores there since 2003.

Though many K-Pop fans are well-informed about the above-stated information, the call for Starbucks’s boycott remains steady, and many see it as a part of the “organic boycott” that the BDS movement encourages at the grassroots level.

Meanwhile, NCT fans continue to push for the boycott on social media after multiple members presumably showed their support for the movement. You can read more about it here.




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