Joshua Feuerstein, the Christian activist who gained notoriety in 2015 for a Facebook post criticizing Starbucks for its simple holiday-themed cup design, is claiming the coffee company offered him “a ridiculous amount of money” for the rights to his viral video urging people to protest the cup’s simple design.
“Starbucks actually approached me and offered me a ridiculous amount of money to purchase the rights to my video because they wanted it removed,” Feuerstein said during a phone interview Thursday with Faithwire. “They wanted it gone.”
Faithwire reached out to Starbucks for a statement on the Christian activist’s claims, but has not yet received a response from the Seattle-based company.
Feuerstein made the claim the same day Starbucks released the designs for its newest holiday-themed cups, which mark a return to more traditional Christmas designs. The four patterns came as a result of customers who “loved the tradition of Christmas,” according to Roz Brewer, chief operating officer for Starbucks.
— Starbucks News (@Starbucksnews) November 1, 2018
Brewer went on to say executives at the well-known brand “listened” to critiques from patrons who wanted to see more Christmas-centric designs on the annual cups, which Starbucks has been releasing since 1997.
Looking back, Feuerstein said the attention he brought to Starbucks in 2015 “woke corporations, advertisers up to the fact that consumers want a values-based culture, including media, entertainment, products.”
He credits much of the resurgence of faith-based content in entertainment as well as Starbucks’ design shift this year to President Donald Trump, who made a habit of telling rally-goers during his 2016 presidential campaign that, if elected, “We’re gonna start saying ‘Merry Christmas’ again.”
“I would venture to say it was that exact stance that was one of the things that helped to get him elected,” Feuerstein opined, “because people look at Christmas as an American value, it’s a time that we stop to celebrate the birth of Christ.”
Feuerstein, though, said Trump can’t take all the credit. The former pastor also suggested progressives on the left are partially responsible for the recent course correction that has seen renewed cultural interest in Christianity and conservative principles.
Both conservatives and Christians, he argued, have spoken out because those on the left are “so radical in their attacks.”
“It’s driven people to speak up,” Feuerstein added.