British actress Thandie Newton has blasted Starbucks over a small statue that was part of a display in one of the coffee shop’s London branches this week.

The display, at Starbucks’ Soho location in the English capital, was of a young black boy holding a wicker basket of coffee beans, dressed in a loincloth with a safari-style hat on his head. 43 year old Newton, star of movies such as Crash and The Pursuit of Happyness, took a picture and called out the company for the display.

Thandie NewtonThandie Newton took the picture at the Soho branch of Starbucks earlier this week

“Seriously @Starbucks? At the counter - Loin cloth and Safari hat on a black child,” she tweeted to her followers on Monday (January 4th). “Happy New Year circa 19th century.”

The coffee house chain, mindful of a PR gaffe, quickly tweeted back to the former BAFTA winner, apologising for the display and saying they were looking in to it. “@thandienewton we are very concerned to learn of this incident & we can’t apologise enough. We have removed the figure & are investigating.”

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However, Newton has left the picture up on her account and it continues to draw angry comments from Twitter users.

Starbucks later issued a fuller statement of apology via Entertainment Tonight on Wednesday, which read: “Serving as a welcoming place for everyone is core to who we are as a company. As we became aware of the offense, we immediately removed the figure from our store.”

“We aim to provide an inclusive environment for all customers and communities in which we serve, and we are working with our partners (employees) to avoid similar incidents from happening in the future. We apologize for the offense caused.”

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