Iconic coffee brand fires employee for crude YouTube remarks
A former Starbucks barista claims she was fired for telling her online followers that one of the drinks tastes like "ass" - but Starbucks claims she was terminated for another reason entirely.
Abegael Milot, a vlogger with more than 73,000 subscribers on YouTube, shared a video in October in which she instructed her followers on how to make their favourite Starbucks coffee drinks at home. During the clip, she gave her own personal opinion of the chain's Pike Place Roast, which she clearly doesn't care for.
"Pike Roast is ass. It is not good. If you think it's good, you're lying to yourself," she says in the video.
This remark is why Ms Milot, 21, claims her employment at a Detroit-area Starbucks was terminated.
In a later video published on December 7 titled "I got fired from Starbucks because of my channel", Ms Milot said her manager saw the video and "it all went downhill".
"The head of communications at Starbucks wanted to speak to me," she claimed. Milot said she was then made to explain why she said "Pike tastes like ass" before she was ultimately fired. She added that she suspected a co-worker ratted her out.
Ms Milot went on to claim that she wasn't mad at Starbucks, saying her manager had the right to fire her for the remark, which she referred to as "defamation". But Ms Milot also said she didn't like how it all "went down" and a big company like Starbucks did not care about its employees' "wellbeing", even around the holidays.
The coffee chain, in response, has since claimed that Ms Milot was fired for admitting to "theft" - something Ms Milot denies in a later interview with Buzzfeed News.
"This former partner was separated after she admitted to theft, among other reasons," a Starbucks spokesman told Fox News.
Ms Milot, however, told Buzzfeed that was not what she was told on the day she was terminated. She theorised that perhaps her manager had seen an earlier video in which she used a Starbucks ingredient - marshmallow syrup - to make an at-home drink.
"As an employee I am able to get free drinks, and I got syrup on the side," Ms Milot told Buzzfeed News of how she obtained the ingredient. "I don't know if that's what they're referring to … They only brought up my statements about how I joked about the job and stuff."
In her December 7 video, she had seemingly made peace with the shop's decision to fire her.
"I think that everything happens for a reason, so, yeah, maybe this was good for me," Ms Milot said. "Jobs come and go. I'll find another one."
This article originally appeared on Fox News and was reproduced with permission