If you’re looking for something to get heated about on the Internet Superhighway this morning, I have just the thing for you. And spoiler alert, it features three-time American Pie actor Jason Biggs as a hero. Yes, I can’t really believe it either! Yesterday the actor went into a LA Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf and noticed that the people who work there decided to use Paul Walker’s death to get more tips. His twitpic explains it best:
— Jason Biggs (@JasonBiggs) December 3, 2013
It’s a clever and creative way to get people to give more tips. And tell you what, I would’ve totally been into it if the actor in question hadn’t just died this past Saturday in a horrific car crash. Naturally the national company spokesperson for Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf responded with shock and horror at what this one store decided to do. In a statement to a few different news outlets, they apologize for what happened and actually thank Jason Biggs for informing them.
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.
Sure there are ten hundred worse things happening in the world, but like Jason Biggs said, this is just in poor taste. As you’ve probably noticed, the only thing we internet employees like better than interspecies friendships is calling people out for being in poor taste. (Just think about how fast the Diane in 7A hoax took off this weekend.) And before you jump down to the comment section to rage at me, let me tell you that we’re well aware that many people find our Paul Walker coverage about his girlfriend in poor taste. However we believe there’s a difference between exploiting his death for tips and reporting on facts.
With all that said, it’s certainly tricky for all of us normals — from bloggers to Coffee Bean & Tea Life employees — when a celebrity dies. As much as we might feel like we knew Paul Walker, we didn’t. It makes mourning him complicated. Is it to fair to his family and friends if we turn his death into our tragedy? Where’s the line between paying him our respect and exploiting his death? I don’t know. And thanks to the Internet and the speed at which we receive news now, no one else really does either. So maybe, in the spirit of the holiday season, we can forgive these employees for making a stupid mistake. After all, as I said earlier, there are at least ten hundred worse things happening in the world right now.