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Starbucks goes ‘full Bud Light’ with trans ad in India

A Starbucks ad in India featuring a trans actress that promotes inclusivity has ignited a brewing firestorm against the coffee giant for going “full Bud Light.”

The two-minute video shows a supportive mother and wary father meeting their daughter, played by transgender Indian actress Siya, at a Starbucks.

The father has not seen his child since her name was Arpit, before her transition.

The father is visibly struggling with accepting his daughter when he gets up to order coffee.

The barista then announces the drinks are ready for “Arpita,” a more feminine spin on the daughter’s pre-transition name and an indication that the father is working towards acceptance.

“For me, you are still my kid. Only a letter has been added to your name,” he says to his daughter.

Starbucks India tweeted the ad last week with the caption: “Your name defines who you are — whether it’s Arpit or Arpita. At Starbucks, we love and accept you for who you are. Because being yourself means everything to us.”

The video has been viewed more than 9 million times — with many replies echoing the outcry over Bud Light’s partnership with Mulvaney, including calls for a boycott and references to the tag line “Go woke, go broke.”

Starbucks India tweeted a pro-trans ad that’s part of its “It Starts With Your Name” campaign, and it immediately caught the attention of social media users still fired up over Bud Light’s controversy.

“Starbucks facing a backlash in India after going full Bud Light. If saturating the market with a mediocre US coffee brand wasn’t bad enough, now they are bringing their woke corporate culture to the Sub-Continent,” political commentator Rukshan Fernando tweeted in response to the clip.

“For me, it’s never again Starbucks,” another tweeted, while others said they’ll be bringing their business to rival Tim Hortons.

Another angered Twitter user wrote: “Go sell drinks to wokes in America and leave India.”

In the two-minute ad, a mother and father with their transgender daughter at a Starbucks. The father has not seen his child since her name was Arpit, before her transition, and expresses support by ordering coffee under his daughter's more feminine name, Arpita.
The father in the two-minute has not seen his child since her name was Arpit, before her transition, and expresses support by ordering coffee under his daughter’s more feminine name, Arpita.

A spokesman for Starbucks told The Post the ad was being received well in India, and emphasized that this is far from the coffee chain’s first display of showing it “as a warm and inclusive place.”

The spokesman also pointed to Starbucks’ “I Am” project, which supports trans employees with legal and psychological well-being support to amend the names on their birth certificates.

“At Starbucks, we unequivocally support the LGBTQIA2+ community as part of our global mission to nurture the limitless possibilities of human connection. Our campaign in India, #ItStartsWithYourName, shows how Tata Starbucks is committed to making people of all backgrounds and identities feel welcome, helping our communities and partners (employees) show up as their authentic selves every day. 

“We will continue to use our voice to advocate for greater understanding on the importance of inclusion and diversity across the communities we serve around the world,” Starbucks told The Post in an email statement.

However, Twitter user Krishna called such efforts a “deliberate strategy” to erode “cultural identity in our current era.”

“The pace at which this unsettling phenomenon unfolds is cause for genuine alarm,” he added, seemingly referencing the influx of recent ads featuring trans influencers and models that have sparked a type of culture war.

The controversy hit full boil in April when trans social media star Mulvaney shared an Instagram post of a personalized Bud Light can the beer brand sent her to celebrate “365 Days of Girlhood.”

The beer’s conservative consumers were immediately outraged.

They lashed out at the Anheuser-Busch-made beer, causing sales to plunge.

Adidas was also called out this week after launching its “Pride 2023” collection, which featured models who appeared to be male showing off a women’s swimsuit.

The colorful one-piece, called the “Pride Swimsuit” for $70, was listed on Adidas’ site under the “women’s” section, but was being modeled by an apparently male model who also was also displaying a noticeable bulge in the crotch area.

It was unclear if the model identifies as a male or is transgender.

Outraged social media users didn’t seem to care, citing violations to women’s rights and slamming the German apparel company for listing the suit under “women’s” rather than in its own LGBTQ+ section.

Among the voices was former NCAA swim star and women’s rights activist Riley Gaines.

“Women’s swimsuits aren’t accessorized with a bulge,” she tweeted.

Gaines continued: “I don’t understand why companies are voluntarily doing this to themselves. They could have at least said the suit is ‘unisex,’ but they didn’t because it’s about erasing women. Ever wondered why we hardly see this go the other way?”

Sports Illustrated was also attacked by Megyn Kelly for putting transgender pop star Kim Petras on the cover of the magazine’s annual Swimsuit edition.

Kelly said the move would be a turnoff to young boys.

A Twitter user angered by the ad referenced the influx of pro-trans messages in mainstream ads, and called it "erosion of cultural identity."
A Twitter user angered by the ad referenced the influx of pro-trans messages in mainstream ads, and called it “erosion of cultural identity.”

“My understanding of the cover of the Sports Illustrated magazine is it has one main purpose and that’s for 15-year-old boys to spend some alone time with it in the bathroom,” Kelly said during Thursday’s episode of her SiriusXM podcast “The Megyn Kelly Show.”

Petras, the German-born singer-songwriter who has gender reassignment surgery at age 16, was one of four celebrities chosen for SI Swimsuit’s rite-of-passage edition, which hits newsstands Monday.

The other cover stars include actress Megan Fox, TV host Brooks Nader and 81-year-old Martha Stewart.

This story originally appeared on NYPost

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