K-pop Idols Spark Outrage among International Fans for Still Buying Starbucks Amid Global Boycott

The crisis gained attention following Hamas’ attack on Israel, leading to increased awareness and protests against human rights violations. 

In October, Starbucks’ worker union expressed solidarity with Palestine. Starbucks, disapproving of the union’s stance, sued its employees for trademark infringement after denouncing the union. 

This led to a U.S. boycott in particular and worldwide boycott in general as customers objected to Starbucks’ controversial stance against its workers supporting a humanitarian cause.


Despite Starbucks losing $12 billion in market value and encountering closures, some K-pop idols, such as Jeon Somi and members of IVE, TWICE, EXO, ATEEZ, aespa, CN BLUE, Girls’ Generation, Super Junior, Red Velvet, THE BOYZ, 2PM, and BLACKPINK, were seen with Starbucks cups. 


International netizens suspect paid endorsements, as idols usually avoid visible logos. Fans defending idols cite ignorance or geographical detachment, but protests in Korea and idols’ social media presence challenge this. Notably, Starbucks Coffee Korea is independent, with no shares held by global Starbucks.

While Starbucks Korea hasn’t funded Israel, netizens argue it’s a matter of principle due to the company’s treatment of employees supporting Palestine. The controversy has led to huge disappointment among fans, and questions about idols’ association with  a brand facing widespread condemnation.

Source: KB

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