Why Actor James Cromwell Glued His Hand to a Starbucks Counter
Veteran actor James Cromwell — who has nearly 200 credits dating back to the 1970s including an Oscar-nominated performance in the 1995 film Babe and an Emmy-nominated role on the TV show Succession — superglued his hand to the counter of a Midtown Manhattan Starbucks on Tuesday to protest the premium prices the chain charges for non-dairy milk.
The PETA-organized protest (which was posted live to their Facebook page) comes at a time when the animal rights group has been escalating its long-standing campaign against Starbucks, demanding the chain drop its non-dairy milk upcharge. Last month, PETA organized a similar superglue protest in Starbucks' home city of Seattle, and in March, the group got Paul McCartney to pen a letter to the company asking them to end their vegan milk policy.
With the addition of oatmilk last year, Starbucks now has four non-dairy options, including soy milk (launched in 1997), coconut milk (since 2015), and almond milk (since 2016) — but all cost more when customers customize their beverages. Activists argue that the dairy industry creates a large amount of greenhouse gasses and contributes to animal suffering, while the surcharge creates an unfair financial burden for those who are lactose intolerant, which disproportionately affects people of color.
"My friends at PETA and I are calling on Starbucks to stop punishing kind and environmentally conscious customers for choosing plant milks," Cromwell, who PETA touted as their Honorary Director, said in a statement released through the group. "We all have a stake in the life-and-death matter of the climate catastrophe, and Starbucks should do its part by ending its vegan upcharge."
Nexstar Media reported that Cromwell — as well as another activist who had similarly superglued his hand to the counter — unattached themselves about a half-hour later after police arrived and told all of the protesters to vacate the property.