Was the Starbucks 'Verisimo' SNL Skit Racist?
Starbucks baristas may get a lot of flak, but the Saturday Night Live sketch that aired Saturday has many TV viewers outraged for purporting racism and classism in a coffee drink.
The SNL commercial parody supposedly sells the (real) Verismo, the Starbucks at-home coffeemaker to make lattes and other coffee drinks. But once the voice characterization comes on the machine, many viewers called foul on the racist characterization of the barista — and "Verquanica, a larger non-functioning machine for Verismo to talk to about you."
As Gothamist points out, the voice characterization and "Verquanica" standby could have been taken out for a perfectly acceptable parody. "The scattered sugar packet milk mess is a start — let's say Verismo also conjures up grad students and tourists on your couch who steal your Wi-Fi and refuse to purchase anything. And maybe it creates an insanely long line for your bathroom (that now constantly reeks of feces), and the machine also pipes Christmas songs performed by Death Cab For Cutie into your kitchen," writes Christopher Robbins (touché, sir). Did SNL cross the line with its skit? You decide.