Starbucks says oops: No more “Race Together” on coffee cups

Fortune

Less than a week after Starbucks [fortune-stock symbol=”SBUX”] announced its ambitious “Race Together” initiative aimed at stoking dialog about the hot-button issue, the coffee company is ending a key part of the program.

As of Sunday, baristas will no longer be writing the words “Race Together” (or placing stickers) on cups they hand customers as a signal to start a chat about one of the most polarizing issues in American life, an effort meant as a centerpiece for the broader and longer term program but one widely ridiculed on social meeting after it was announced last week.

“While there has been criticism of the initiative — and I know this hasn’t been easy for any of you — let me assure you that we didn’t expect universal praise,” CEO Howard Schultz said in a letter to employees on Sunday.

Many commentators in the media and members of the public mocked…

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