Although some people believe Starbucks' new cup released this month is a Christmas cup that again eliminates Jesus Christ from the annual observance, Starbucks' spokespersons have replied: "Uh, no. It's a green cup about unity."
Another person Alex Lewis, lamented: "Lots of people on these new holiday cups BUT NONE OF THEM ARE JESUS."
Starbucks commissioned artist Shogo Ota to create the artwork on the new cup. His threaded design reportedly represents shared humanity and connection, serving as a symbol for stitching people together as a united community. The single line in the artwork connects the figures, which frame a coffee farmer, a family, a barista and friends embracing.
The mosaic of 132 people are drawn in one continuous stroke on the new Starbucks green cup.
"It's kind of a weird feeling and also kind of nervous about it, too," Ota said. "I couldn't have imagined, didn't imagine yet, that I could see my stuff everywhere in the States!"
The new green cup was available exclusively in U.S. Starbucks stores starting Nov. 1, for a limited time while supplies last. "The green cup and the design represent the connections Starbucks has as a community with its partners (employees) and customers. During a divisive time in our country, Starbucks wanted to create a symbol of unity as a reminder of our shared values, and the need to be good to each other," said Starbucks' Chairman and CEO Howard Schultz.
The online discussion about the cup broke out on Twitter, and the woman who suggested the new cup should go viral "to make Starbucks make red cups again" stated her tweet was meant to be sarcastic and humorous.
The artist also recreated his one-line art on the windows of Starbucks in Times Square. "Everybody on the Earth. People should feel and think everybody is happy together," said the artist, who moved to Seattle from Japan. "I feel like I'm doing something good."
Starbucks' managers have been working with Ota since 2014.