July 28, 2021

Companies say black lives matter. Employees say it’s just for show.

Prompted by ongoing national George Floyd protests, big brands have been rushing to put out statements of diversity and Black Lives Matter solidarity — only to face swift backlash as past employees, citing their own past experiences, come forward to call out what they say is behind-the-scenes hypocrisy.

Companies that have posted messaging on their websites and respective social media accounts, and have sent emails to employees denouncing racism and discrimination, have ranged from Amazon to Zara. However, a number of these same companies have received backlash from former employees who have criticized an alleged culture of bigotry within each one — and in some cases effecting change as a result.

Starbucks promised to “confront racism” in a June 1 Instagram post, for example — and on Thursday, one employee took to Twitter to call out what she described as the company’s double standard. “I might get fired for this, but I’m calling Starbucks out,” she tweeted. “How are y’all gonna say we can’t wear anything BLM because it’s a personal issue, but have us wear and profit off pride month shirts, cups [and] gift cards. BLM and Pride were created to fight injustice, what’s the difference?”

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