Apr 17, 2018

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen
1 big thing: The Starbucks case study

The Starbucks response to two black men who were arrested in one of its stores could be a case study in how corporations act when called out for wrongdoing in 2018, especially when it's on video.

The backdrop:

  • Two unidentified black men were arrested Thursday in a Philadelphia store after a manager called the police on them for sitting down instead of leaving when told the restroom was only for paying customers.
  • The incident was captured on video and went viral, spurring outrage and protests. [See the video]
  • Starbucks officially apologized Saturday. CEO Kevin Johnson called the situation "disheartening" in a press release.
  • Johnson called the arrests "reprehensible" Monday during an interview with "Good Morning America."
  • Starbucks also confirmed that the manager is no longer with the company.
  • Johnson privately apologized to the victims on Monday, according to The Washington Post.
  • Starbucks announced today that all company-owned stores will close on May 29 for racial bias training. Roughly 175,000 employees will undergo the training, the company said.
  • Helping develop the curriculum, per a company press release: "Bryan Stevenson, founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative; Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund;  Heather McGhee, president of Demos; former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder; and Jonathan Greenblatt, [CEO] of the Anti-Defamation League."
“I’ve spent the last few days in Philadelphia with my leadership team listening to the community, learning what we did wrong and the steps we need to take to fix it. While this is not limited to Starbucks, we’re committed to being a part of the solution. Closing our stores for racial bias training is just one step in a journey that requires dedication from every level of our company and partnerships in our local communities.”
— Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson

Be smart: The quick and company-wide response, after fallout raced
through social media, shows a new normal in how fast events escalate
and companies respond.

2. What you missed
Screenshot: Joe Marcus/Twitter
  1. At least one person has died after a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-700 "suffered an apparent engine failure" of the left engine today. The plane was forced to make an emergency landing in Philadelphia. More.
  2. The Supreme Court ruled against a portion of federal law that requires the deportation of legal immigrants who have committed a “crime of violence." Neil Gorsuch sided with the more liberal judges.
  3. Speaking at Mar-a-Lago today with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Trump said the U.S. government has had "direct talks" with North Korea at "extremely high levels." More.
  4. Fox News says they were "unaware of Sean Hannity's informal relationship with Michael Cohen," adding that Hannity "continues to have our full support." Details.
  5. Two other vulnerable Trump lawyers: Jason Greenblatt and Allen Weisselberg, per Timothy O'Brien in Bloomberg View.
3. 1 Hollywood thing

"[I]n the aftermath of Hollywood's sexual harassment scandals, film festivals have done some soul searching," the AP's Jake Coyle reports.

  • "Codes of conduct have been rewritten, selection processes have been re-examined and, in many cases, gender equality efforts have been redoubled."
  • "When the curtain goes up on the 17th annual Tribeca Film Festival... films directed by women [will] make up 46 percent at this year's festival."
  • "Jane Rosenthal, co-founder of the festival and chief executive of Tribeca Enterprises, particularly wanted to launch this year's festival with the premiere of a film directed by a woman, about a woman."
  • "[W]e tasked ourselves early on with: Can you get to 50-50? Can we have 50 percent women filmmakers at the festival? We got to 46,' Rosenthal said."
Mike Allen