The company quickly walked back its policy to prohibit employees from wearing clothing to promote Black Lives Matter while working

By Benjamin VanHoose
Updated June 16, 2020 11:00 AM
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Ariana Grande is seemingly on the outs Starbucks after it prohibited employees from showing support for the Black Lives Matter movement at work — a policy that it promptly reversed.

As of Tuesday morning, the "Rain on Me" singer, 26, no longer follows her once go-to coffee brand on Instagram, while Starbucks still counts itself as one of the artist's 190 million followers.

Grande also posted on her Instagram Story on Monday a photo of an iced beverage she got from Nimbus Coffee, a wizard-themed coffee shop in Los Angeles. "mmmmmmmm @nimbus_coffee_la ⚡," she wrote with the brew recommendation.

The pop star's subtle distancing comes after Starbucks initially made it a rule that baristas could not wear Black Lives Matter clothing or accessories while on the clock.

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Though the chain had previously supported the movement publicly, an internal memo published last week by BuzzFeed News showed that the company cited its dress code policy of not allowing workers to "wear buttons or pins that advocate a political, religious or personal issue."

After facing backlash online, with some even calling for a full-on boycott, Starbucks walked back the policy, announcing that staffers are now allowed to "wear Black Lives Matter t-shirts, pins and name tags.”

Ariana Grande/Instagram

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“Our partners (employees) told us that they need a way to express themselves at work and we heard them,” the company wrote on Twitter, alongside a link to a letter, entitled “Standing together against racial injustice,” discussing the policy change.

Grande's unfollow is notable since she once became a "Starbucks ambassador," posing with the Cloud Macchiato drink while wearing a green Starbucks apron in March 2019.

At the time, Starbucks replied to the star's photoshoot with a play on her song "7 rings," writing: "You want it, we got it. You want it, we got it. You like our cloud? Gee thanks, just made it. #CloudMacchiato."

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Grande has been outspoken about her activism amid the ongoing Black Lives Matter movement, and the fight against racial injustices. She shared her experience peacefully protesting with her boyfriend Dalton Gomez and friends in Beverly Hills, and encouraged fans to stay focused on the cause.

"stay active, stay energized, keep sharing, keep learning 🖤sending strength and if you are protesting today please be safe," she wrote on Instagram on May 31, sharing details on how to support Black Lives Matter.

To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:

  • Campaign Zero (joincampaignzero.org) which works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.
  • ColorofChange.org works to make the government more responsive to racial disparities.
  • National Cares Mentoring Movement (caresmentoring.org) provides social and academic support to help black youth succeed in college and beyond.