Inspiring connection through conversation: Starbucks proudly supports the bold reimagining of ‘The Color Purple’


Ahead of the Christmas Day release of the new film, Starbucks customers can watch a discussion about finding joy and healing in storytelling, listen to a playlist or send an eGift designed by the director.

Grab a cup of coffee and watch a conversation with the creative team of the new movie “The Color Purple” (only in theaters Christmas Day) from a private screening hosted by Starbucks and Warner Bros. Pictures in Los Angeles. Actress and singer Fantasia Barrino, director Blitz Bazawule, choreographer Fatima Robinson and composer Kris Bowers discuss the art of filmmaking and the power of connecting through human stories.

A special thank you to The Loveland Foundation, a non-profit with a mission to destigmatize mental health counseling and provide access to therapists for Black women and girls. For more information or to make a donation, visit thelovelandfoundation.org/ways-to-give/.


Embracing a strong belief in the power of shared storytelling, Starbucks is proud to support the opening of the new film “The Color Purple” – a bold new take on the beloved classic – which will be released nationally only in theaters on Christmas Day. Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel and the Tony Award award-winning Broadway musical, it’s produced by Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, Scott Sanders and Quincy Jones.  

“Starbucks has a 50-year history of celebrating amazing stories in the form of arts and entertainment,” said Kyndra Russell, Starbucks senior vice president of marketing. “An inherent part of the coffee house experience is people sharing stories and reflecting on them and connecting with one another. 

“What this latest film adaptation of ‘The Color Purple’ has in common with all of the amazing stories we’ve been honored to share in the past is that it uplifts people and connects humanity. It embodies so many themes that are so true to the human experience – hope, joy, resilience and forgiveness.” 

Earlier this month, Starbucks and Warner Bros. Pictures hosted a screening of the film for The Loveland Foundation, a non-profit whose mission is to destigmatize mental health counseling and provide access to therapists for Black women and girls. Approximately 100 guests watched the movie at a theater in Hollywood and enjoyed Starbucks treats, beverages and Holiday Blend coffee served by local Starbucks retail partners. 

Afterwards, they listened to an emotional panel discussion featuring the film’s director Blitz Bazawule, lead actress Fantasia Barrino, composer Kris Bowers and choreographer Fatima Robinson. Members of the panel, moderated by CNN LA correspondent Stephanie Elam, spoke of the film as “sacred work” and an opportunity to find joy while processing their own experiences. 

“This movie brought healing to me,” said Barrino, who also played the main character, Celie, on Broadway 16 years ago. “This was ministry. This was something that’s needed for this generation. Black, white, young, old, female and male will be moved and blessed by this body of work.”  

There’s a moment near the end of the movie when Celie – fed up with a lifetime of loss and abuse – looks up and cries out directly into the camera, “I’m beautiful, and I’m here.” The emotional climax is a powerful announcement of self-affirmation. 

For Sharlene Kemler, chief executive officer of The Loveland Foundation, it couldn’t have been a better message.

“The entire film is a healing journey,” Kemler said. “When Fantasia sings ‘I’m here,’ it is leaning in, it is accepting who you are, it is showing that sense of hope. Yes, there’s a lot of hardship in life, but how do we address that hardship and how do we take something that’s a negative and make it into a positive and build off that? It’s a beautiful story of hope.”   

Starbucks’ partnership with “The Color Purple” also includes a custom eGift designed by the movie’s director Bazawule, a donation to The Loveland Foundation, a playlist featuring the film’s soundtrack that will be played in stores and a discounted ticket offer to Starbucks partners (employees). Customers are invited to use a specially created discussion guide to join the conversation about the movie’s powerful themes of resilience, sisterhood and the importance of friendship and human connection.

The eGift, designed by director Blitz Bazawule and inspired by the film’s themes, is available now. Starbucks is donating $25,000 to Africa Film Society, a nonprofit founded by Bazawule to preserve and promote Africa’s cinematic legacy. 

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ABOUT ‘THE COLOR PURPLE’

Warner Bros. Pictures invites you to experience ‘The Color Purple,’ a bold new take on the classic story of love and resilience. Directed by Blitz Bazawule, the film is produced by Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, Scott Sanders and Quincy Jones. The film stars Taraji P. Henson, Danielle Brooks, Colman Domingo, Corey Hawkins, H.E.R., Halle Bailey, Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor, and Fantasia Barrino in her feature film debut. The screenplay is by Marcus Gardley, based on the novel by Alice Walker and the musical stage play, book (of the musical stage play) by Marsha Norman, music and lyrics by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray.  

Warner Bros. Pictures Presents an Amblin Entertainment Production, A Harpo Films Production, An SGS Pictures Production/A QJP Production, ‘The Color Purple.’ It will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures and is set to open in theaters in North America on December 25, 2023 and internationally beginning January 18, 2024. 

© 2023 WBEI

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