K-pop stars criticized for drinking coffee from 'pro-Israel' Starbucks

Jake of boy band Enhypen, left, and Jeon Somi [NEWS1]

Korean artists have received criticism for using products from Starbucks as fans call for boycotts of the franchise regarding the company's alleged stance on the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.

Korean idols seldom speak out on political issues, but various stars have caused a stir by drinking Starbucks coffee on recent livestreams.

Enhypen’s Jake was criticized for drinking the company's product during a Jan. 5 live show on Weverse. Fans complained in the livestream's chat, telling him “not to buy and consume drinks from Starbucks.”

“I made a mistake, I’m very sorry, won’t happen again,” the singer said on Weverse in reply to one such comment.

Singer Jeon Somi was also criticized for using a tumbler with a Starbucks logo in a makeup video uploaded to TikTok last month. The clip has since been taken down following the backlash.

An Instagram post depicting Blackpink member Jisoo holding a Starbucks tumbler, which was uploaded last July, has also received a number of critical comments, with users demanding that she boycott Starbucks.

Starbucks received backlash last October when it sued its workers' union, Starbucks Workers United, after a member of the union tweeted a pro-Palestinian message. Online critics interpreted Starbucks' action as indicating support for Israel, though the company has denied that claim.

Starbucks Korea is owned by Shinsegae Group and operated separately from the U.S.-based Starbucks.

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