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Wisconsin Watch partners with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. Read our methodology to learn how we check claims.


Starbucks district and regional managers asked employees at two branches in downtown Madison to remove decorations celebrating LGTBQ+ pride, according to an employee union and workers. 

Management told workers at the Capitol Square location that the removal was designed to have more uniform decorations among stores. Employees at the State Street location were told that the decorations could offend clientele.

A national Starbucks spokesman said in statements to multiple outlets that the company had “no change to any policy” related to Pride displays and that it offered local store leaders some discretion over decor choices.

Starbucks Workers United — an organization representing union members from around the country — has drawn attention to similar incidents this year in which managers barred Pride decorations in other states including Massachusetts, Oklahoma and Virginia.

This Fact Brief is responsive to conversations such as this one.


Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Starbucks denies ban on Pride decor reported by employees at 2 Madison stores and the national union

New York Times Starbucks is under scrutiny over removal of Pride decorations

TMJ4 News Starbucks workers upset, say stores won’t allow Pride decorations

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Jacob Alabab-Moser joined as Wisconsin Watch’s fact checker in September 2022, as part of the effort by The Gigafact Project in partnership with different state-level news outlets to combat misinformation in the 2022 midterm elections. Jacob has several years of experience as a fact checker and research assistant at a variety of organizations, including at The Gigafact Project. He holds a BA from Brown University and is pursuing a MSc from the London School of Economics and Political Science.