The hashtag #BoycottCostaCoffee gained significant traction after a Costa Express café featured an illustration of a person with top surgery scars. Here’s what happened.
The illustration in question depicted a cartoon character with blue hair, representing a Trans individual, drinking coffee while displaying top surgery scars.
Does It Promote Harm?
Some “gender-critical” voices, led by anti-trans campaigner Maya Forstater, linked the image to “self-harm.”
She said, “The main issue here is promoting and glamorizing self-harm and the idea that young women should have their breasts removed.”
The Employment Tribunal
Maya Forstater, known for her “gender-critical” beliefs, had previously won an employment tribunal in 2022, where she was found to have been discriminated against due to her beliefs.
Defending the Illustration
On the other hand, the trans-inclusive group LGBWithTheT defended the illustration, stating that it demonstrated the increasing support for the trans community.
The group wrote, “Have you noticed no matter how hard the haters bash their bigot bong… The support becomes more and more clear for all to see.”
They highlighted the positive impact of top surgery on the lives of young Trans individuals and applauded Costa Coffee’s efforts in promoting inclusivity.
Praising the Coffee Chain for Embracing Diversity
The public’s response to the controversy was diverse.
Many individuals on Twitter expressed their support for Costa Coffee and praised the coffee chain for embracing diversity.
One Twitter user wrote, “Saw Costa was trending. Turns out it’s because they have an illustration of a trans person and all the bigots are losing their minds about trans people existing.”
The Positive Impact
Another user added, “It’s not “single” that counts. It’s what the cartoon means to people. It’s seen as yet another instance of a business getting involved in, and foisting a line on socio-cultural controversy.”
A third user commented, “It’s so stupid. I didn’t realize so many people could be offended by one small drawing.”
The Brand Remains Committed to Celebrating Diversity
In response to the boycott campaign, a Costa Coffee spokesperson issued a statement explaining the brand’s commitment to celebrating the diversity of its customers, team members, and partners.
Creating an Inclusive Environment
The spokesperson emphasized their desire to create an inclusive environment.
They wrote, “We want everyone that interacts with us to experience the inclusive environment that we create, to encourage people to feel welcomed, free, and unashamedly proud to be themselves.”
They Stand by Their Work
The coffee chain reiterated its celebration of inclusivity and support for the LGBTQ+ community, having previously collaborated with the charity Switchboard LGBT+ Helpline ahead of Pride month.
Costa Coffee is Not Alone
The boycott threat against Costa Coffee is not an isolated incident. Other brands, such as Wickes and Bud Light, have also faced backlash due to their support for the trans community.
Wickes Faced a Boycott
Wickes, a home improvement retailer, faced a boycott after expressing its support for the trans community, declaring that transphobes were not welcome in their stores.
The Costly Collaboration
Similarly, Bud Light, a popular beer brand, collaborated with trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney. This led to anti-trans campaigners damaging displays, refusing to sell the beer brand, and even using firearms to shoot Bud Light cans in protest.
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Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / ViDI Studio. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.
Source: The Pink News