Starbucks drive-thru sparks debate after using Johnny Depp v Amber Heard tip jars: ‘Vile’

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·4-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
 (TikTok / Abbynoella, Nicole Bee)
(TikTok / Abbynoella, Nicole Bee)

Starbucks baristas are reportedly placing tip jars labelled “Johnny Depp” and “Amber Heard” outside drive-thru windows, encouraging customers to vote on the ex-spouses amid their defamation trial. The viral videos have sparked a debate online, with many people calling the tip jars inappropriate and insensitive.

The defamation trial between Depp and Heard has continued into its third week after the actor sued Heard for $50m for implying he abused her in a 2018 Washington Post op-ed.

In the several videos shared to TikTok within the past two days, Starbucks customers could be seen leaving tips overwhelmingly in the jars labelled “Johnny Depp”, indicating their support for the actor. The videos also show Depp’s name decorated on the jars with hearts and stars.

In one TikTok that has been viewed more than 4m times, a Starbucks customer shouted “One for Johnny!” as they left a dollar bill in his tip jar.

“Supporting our local barista’s and our man,” the TikTok user named Summer Canova captioned her video.

According to TikTok, the Starbucks coffeehouse wasn’t the only location to poll its customers. “She will remember this upcoming day as the day she almost caught Captain Jack Sparrow,” wrote another TikTok user, alongside their video of similar Starbucks tip jars at what appeared to be another drive-thru.

While the majority of Starbucks drive-thru customers seemed to support the Pirates of the Carribean actor in the defamation trial, the tip jar trend sparked mixed reactions online. Many people joined in on the support for Depp, while others claimed the tip jars were making light of the serious accusations of domestic abuse that have been alleged throughout the trial.

“This is weird,” commented one user. “It’s fine when it was Jacob vs Edward or Maddie vs Cassie but these are real people,” they added, in reference to the fictional characters from Twilight and the HBO show Euphoria.

“I don’t think it’s cool to profit off of someone’s trauma,” said someone else, while another person added: “Imagine using someone’s abuse case to get tips, this is beyond f**ked.”

@glutenfreedaddy

She will remember this upcoming day as the day she almost caught Captain Jack Sparrow. #johnnydepp #amberheard #starbucks

♬ original sound - Nicole Bee

“Why is this even a thing is my question,” asked another TikToker. “It’s not like some celebrity love triangle.”

Several users identifying themselves as Starbucks employees commented on the TikTok trend as well, where they claimed that the tip jars were taken down from drive-thru windows because they were seen as too “controversial”.

@oss_tee

Support Your Local Starbucks Baristas and vote for Johnny Depp! #justiceforjohnnydepp #Johnnydepp @summervictoria_ thanks for posting your sbx drive thru run, it made me post mine from today morning too! 😊 @Starbucks

♬ original sound - Adarsh Asok - Adarsh Asok

“We had this tip jar at my Starbucks I work at and it kinda feels wrong,” one user who identified as a barista wrote.

“Tried to get our store to do this and my boss said no because it can be seen as ‘controversial’ and we’d get in trouble with corporate,” shared another alleged Starbucks worker.

According to someone else claiming to be a Starbucks barista, employees are not allowed to label tip jars in general: “Starbucks does not allow baristas to do this, we can’t even label it ‘tips’ it must be blank,” they wrote.

Speaking to The Independent, a Starbucks spokesperson said that while they do “value the creativity that their employees bring in building connections with customers day in and day out,” these labels on the tip jars are “inconsistent” with Starbucks policy.

“We do not condone the use of tip jars in this manner so we have removed the labels where reported,” they said.

After her video went viral, Canova informed viewers in the comments section that the Starbucks she visited in Los Angeles had taken down their Johnny Depp vs Amber Heard tip jars as well.

Back in March, Starbucks employees previously labelled tip jars during Kanye West’s one-sided feud with Pete Davidson. The marketing strategy similarly received mixed responses from customers - some called the tip jars “racially motivated,” while others found West’s “abusive” behaviour to warrant a tip for Davidson.

Follow along for live updates of the defamation trial between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard here.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting