A transgender barista has been let go from a licensed Starbucks establishment near the Southampton ferry port in Hampshire, UK after getting into an altercation with a female customer and a man filming the event. The incident, which has since been the subject of a police investigation, occurred last month and has garnered significant attention on social media.
The altercation was captured on a 56-second video clip that shows the female customer shouting at the barista, “Don’t ever call me transphobic! What do you know about me?” The barista responded by calling the customer “Karen,” a derogatory term for white women who are perceived as entitled or who complain too much. The worker then told the woman to leave the establishment, but she demanded a refund and was called transphobic by the staff.
The situation escalated when the man filming the incident said, “Apparently, we said something transphobic.” The barista then charged at the man, swatted his phone out of his hand, and the altercation continued onto the street in front of the coffee shop. The police received a report of the incident, which alleges that the staff member became verbally abusive towards a customer before assaulting a member of the public who was filming the incident. No injuries were reported, and the investigation is still ongoing.
A spokeswoman for Starbucks confirmed that the incident took place in a licensed Starbucks establishment that is not operated by the corporation. The licensee has confirmed that the employee no longer works for the company, and a Starbucks representative has apologized for the incident and expressed their regret that the customer had to go through this.
The incident has sparked significant backlash on social media, with media figure Oil London tweeting about it and garnering over 4.4 million views. The incident has also been the subject of much condemnation.
This incident highlights the ongoing issues that transgender individuals face in society and the workplace. It is important to create safe spaces for individuals of all genders and to ensure that incidents of discrimination and harassment are not tolerated. Starbucks and other corporations must take responsibility for the actions of their employees and take steps to ensure that their workplaces are inclusive and free from discrimination. It is also important for individuals to be aware of their own biases and to work towards creating a more inclusive society.