A Starbucks barista’s job is on the line after she shockingly put the word “monkey” on the drink of a Black customer.
The incident took place on November 19th inside the Starbucks store in Maryland’s Annapolis Mall. Monique Pugh, a customer at the well-known coffee shop, placed her order and awaited her drink, as did other patrons. However, Pugh was singled out, with the barista failing to put her name on her caramel frappuccino. Instead, she printed the label to read “monkey,” a common derogatory phrase used to describe Black people.
Pugh slammed the employee, telling local news station WLBT 3 the barista should have asked her to repeat her name if she didn’t hear it correctly.
“Not once did she do that. She labeled me what she wanted to label me,” Pugh stated.
She now believes the label was intentional, considering she was the only Black customer in the location at the time. However, Impeccable Brands, which owns this Starbucks location, stated that “monkey” was printed on the label in error. The employee has since been suspended. Impeccable Brands also assured Pugh that the company would be implementing additional employee training to prevent further incidents. A Starbucks spokesperson said that while the store operates under its name, it is not run by them. Pugh is not pleased with Impeccable Brands’ solution or Starbucks’ attempt to avoid accountability.
“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.
It’s unclear if the barista will be allowed to return to her job.