A Detroit-based YouTuber and former Starbucks barista alleges she was fired by the coffee chain for saying its Pike Place roast tastes “like ass” in one of her videos. However, a Starbucks spokesperson explained to BuzzFeed News that the reason 21-year-old Abegael Milot was fired was for “theft”—and that Milot admitted to it.
On Dec. 7th, Milot announced on her YouTube channel that she was fired for her vlog.
“My manager ended up watching these lovely videos of mine,” she said. “I had to explain to them why I said the things I did in my videos. One of the biggest issues is that I said ‘Pike tastes like ass’…and they were so pressed about that statement.”
The comment was made in an October video in which Milot shows her viewers how to make Starbucks drinks at home. She also says to just make coffee at home and “If you want me to be honest…Pike roast is ass. It’s not good.”
The video has been viewed over 340,000 times.
Milot told Buzzfeed about her conversation with Starbucks communications personnel.
“They quoted my videos and said, ‘Why did you say this?’ I told them I was joking around and that’s how I communicate. I made it clear to them I was joking around. That was my sense of humor. And they were just not having it.”
“It’s one of those things where I think it’s valid to have an opinion as an employee of the company.”
Senior manager of corporate communications at Starbucks, Jory Mendes, told BuzzFeed News in an official statement that Milot was fired because of “theft, among other reasons.”
Milot denied the charge of theft but said that perhaps it had something to do with comments she made in an older video about how to make Starbucks beverages at home. In that video, she says she got a cup of marshmallow syrup from work.
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“I’m thinking back to one specific moment in one of my videos where I had syrup that was only served at Starbucks. In the video, I joked around and said ‘I got this from work,’ but they assumed I didn’t get it [legally],” Milot says. However, Milot explained that she had gotten the syrup on the side with a complimentary drink order, which is apparently proper protocol.
Since being fired from Starbucks, Milot has been hired at a family-0wned store—something she’s grateful for because of their more permissive environment.
“They’re more personable people; they expressed they don’t even care if I bring my camera in and make a video in store,” she said of her new employers. “They support the creative thing. It was a breath of fresh air.”