Atlanta actor/rapper T.I. (currently appearing in the locally filmed indie “Krystal”) is calling for a boycott of Starbucks following the controversial arrests of two black men widely disparaged as racist.
EARLIER TODAY: Starbucks chief addresses arrests on “Good Morning America”
On the other hand, comic actor Kevin Hart, a Philadelphia native who has filmed numerous films in Atlanta (including the upcoming comedy “Night School”) says the matter boils down to bad management at an individual location.
“This is not a boycott Starbucks situation,” he said in a social media post.
T.I., who led protests at a Lenox Road Houston’s (now closed) after a patron said she felt discriminated against and took part in a 2016 demonstration against police brutality that shut down the highway, as shown below, has posted several messages urging people to dump Starbucks.
“My point exactly!!!” he posted with a clip from “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” in which Frances McDormand’s character assigns culpability to all members of unlawful groups. “This goes to the Policemen,Priests,Preachers,
Politicians, @starbucks , @hm ,and ANYONE ELSE WHO FEELS THEY CAN DISREGARD,DISRESPECT, or MISTREAT MINORITIES!!! We have THE GREATEST BUYING POWER WITH THE LEAST AMOUNT OF CONSIDERATION!!! Only one way to MAKE THEM RESPECT US!!! They hold US TO THIS STANDARD… why shouldn’t WE HOLD THEM TO IT?”
Hart has received both support and scorn for his take on things:
Starbucks president and CEO Kevin Johnson appeared on “Good Morning America” Monday morning to repeat his apology and his desire to meet with the two men who arrested. Johnson called what happened reprehensible and wrong and said more training to address” unconscious bias” is needed.
“It’s easy for me to point blame to one person in this incident,” he said in response to host Robin Roberts‘ question asking if the employees involved would face discipline. “My responsibility is to look more broadly, just to ensure this never happens again. I’ve been very focused on understanding what guidelines and what training ever let this happen. What happened was wrong, and we will fix it.”
Hart wasn’t too impressed: