When tragedy—such as a death of a bright, young celebrity—strikes, it’s not unheard of for people to take advantage of the horrific event for their own selfish gain—but still, you wouldn’t expect a popular coffee chain to be at fault.
Shortly after the heartbreaking death of Paul Walker, Los Angeles-based coffee chain Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf put out two tip jars with the names of two popular films starring the late star—The Fast and The Furious and Varsity Blues—to encourage patrons to tip the jar of the movie they preferred.
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When Paul’s former costar Jason Biggs caught glimpse of this, he was outraged.
“Umm, am I crazy, or does this seem exploitive and in poor taste,” he asked on Twitter with an accompanying picture.
Jason and Paul costarred in Eight Below, in which Paul stars as an Antarctic explorer forced to leave his sled dogs behind after they encounter a dangerous storm.
Per Business Insider, the popular coffee chain has since made a statement, saying, “This is completely inconsistent with our brand values and the jars have since been removed. Our thoughts and condolences remain with the many friends and family of Paul Walker during this difficult time. The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf would like to thank Jason Biggs for bringing this matter to our attention.”
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On his blog, Jason has since responded by saying that he appreciated the compassion from Coffee Bean, but hoped that no one lost their job over it.
“But now that this has become a bit of a story in its own right, with The Coffee Bean responding and saying it will take the appropriate actions, I can only hope that my post didn’t get some hard-working college student fired,” he said. “Because I do not really believe the act was malevolent. Ignorant and insensitive, yes. Dumb, sure. But not mean-spirited.”
He added that he could not pick between the two flicks, but had Eight Below been an option—it would have been “a different story.”
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