Megyn Kelly slams Starbucks for its new open bathroom policy

  • Megyn Kelly criticized Starbucks' decision to open its bathrooms to all people.
  • "Do you really want to deal with a mass of homeless people or whoever is in there — could be drug addicted, you don't know — when you're there with your kids?" Kelly said on her NBC show. 
  • Starbucks recently announced that all people could visit and use the bathrooms at the chain's locations without making any purchases. 

 

Not everyone is pleased by Starbucks' decision to allow anyone to use its bathrooms.

On her show, "Megyn Kelly Today," the NBC host criticized Starbucks' new policy to open its bathrooms to all, even those who aren't buying anything. Starbucks, which is closing all of its locations in the United States on Tuesday afternoon for anti-bias training, recently announced that people would no longer have to pay to hang out in or use the bathrooms at Starbucks locations. 

In a clip of Kelly's show posted by online news organization Raw Story, Kelly highlighted people's criticism of the new policy, saying that paying customers were complaining about Starbucks stores becoming a public space. Jenna Bush Hager, who was a guest on the show, pushed back on concerns regarding the new policy. 

"It's not a solution," for homelessness, Bush Hager said, "but it's also compassionate. It's also showing kindness to people." 

Kelly replied: "Do you really want to deal with a mass of homeless people or whoever is in there — could be drug addicted, you don't know — when you're there with your kids?"

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MEGYN KELLY TODAY -- Pictured: Megyn Kelly on Monday, January 22, 2018 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
MEGYN KELLY TODAY -- Pictured: Megyn Kelly on Wednesday Jan. 10, 2018 -- (Photo by: Zach Pagano/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
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MEGYN KELLY TODAY -- Pictured: Megyn Kelly on Wednesday, December 20, 2017 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
MEGYN KELLY TODAY -- Pictured: Patti LaBelle on Friday, December 15, 2017 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
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MEGYN KELLY TODAY -- Pictured: Megyn Kelly on Friday, December 1, 2017 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 30: Megyn Kelly and Diana Williams attend the 2017 Gold & Silver Circle Induction Ceremony at The Lambs Club on November 30, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Steve Mack/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 30: Presenter Megyn Kelly and Silver Circle Inductee Susan Lucci at the 2017 Gold & Silver Circle Induction Ceremony at The Lambs Club on November 30, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Steve Mack/Getty Images)
MEGYN KELLY TODAY -- Pictured: Megyn Kelly on Thursday, November 30, 2017 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 29: Megyn Kelly, NBC News Anchor and host of 'Megyn Kelly Today' speaks onstage with Alyson Shontell at IGNITION: Future of Media at Time Warner Center on November 29, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images)
MEGYN KELLY TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Luke Piazza, Megyn Kelly and Alex Voglewede on Tuesday Nov. 28, 2017 -- (Photo by: Tyler Essary/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
MEGYN KELLY TODAY -- Pictured: Megyn Kelly and Karen Tack on Friday, November 17, 2017 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - November 15: Megyn Kelly attends the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Double Helix Medals Dinner at the American Museum of Natural History Street on November 15, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Paul Bruinooge/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 14: Megyn Kelly is seen during an appearance on 'Access Hollywood' on November 14, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by MediaPunch/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
MEGYN KELLY TODAY -- Pictured: Joe Worley, Stacy Persall and Megyn Kelly on Thursday, November 9, 2017 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 07: Megyn Kelly attends the 11th Annual Stand Up for Heroes at The Theater at Madison Square Garden on November 7, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Roy Rochlin/FilmMagic)
MEGYN KELLY TODAY -- Pictured: Megyn Kelly on Monday, November 6, 2017 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
MEGYN KELLY TODAY -- Pictured: Megyn Kelly on Thursday, September 28, 2017 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Megyn Kelly on Wednesday, September 27, 2017 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
MEGYN KELLY TODAY -- Pictured: Megyn Kelly on Tuesday, September 26, 2017 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
MEGYN KELLY TODAY -- Pictured: Megyn Kelly on Monday, September 25, 2017 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Hoda Kotb and Megyn Kelly on Friday, September 22, 2017 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 0742 -- Pictured: Journalist Megyn Kelly arrives for an interview on September 21, 2017 -- (Photo by: Andrew Lipovsky/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
UNIVERSAL CITY, CA - SEPTEMBER 19: Megyn Kelly visits 'Extra' at Universal Studios Hollywood on September 19, 2017 in Universal City, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)
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NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 28: Douglas Brunt and journalist Megyn Kelly attend the 17th Annual USTA Foundation Opening Night Gala at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 28, 2017 in the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
TODAY -- Pictured: Megyn Kelly on Monday, August 21, 2017 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC)
TODAY -- Pictured: Megyn Kelly on Thursday, July 6, 2017 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 26: Journalist Megyn Kelly arrives to discuss Douglas Brunt's new novel, 'Trophy Son,' during Douglas Brunt In Conversation with Megyn Kelly at Free Library of Philadelphia on June 26, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Megyn Kelly on Monday, June 23, 2017 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 13: Megyn Kelly attends The 2017 Mirror Awards at Cipriani 42nd Street on June 13, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Megyn Kelly on Friday, June 9, 2017 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Savannah Guthrie, Craig Melvin, Hoda Kotb, and Megyn Kelly on Monday, June 5, 2017 -- (Photo by: Zach Pagano/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
ST PETERSBURG, RUSSIA JUNE 2, 2017: NBC News Anchor Megyn Kelly waves at the plenary session at the 2017 St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF 2017) at the ExpoForum Convention and Exhibition Centre. Mikhail Metzel/TASS Host Photo Agency (Photo by Mikhail Metzel\TASS via Getty Images)
Russian President Vladimir Putin (2nd R) and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (L) talk to journalist Megyn Kelly (R) on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) at the Constantine (Konstantinovsky) Palace, Russia, June 1, 2017. Sputnik/Alexei Druzhinin/Kremlin via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
ST PETERSBURG, RUSSIA - JUNE 2, 2017: NBC News anchor Megyn Kelly moderates the plenary session of the 2017 St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF 2017) held at the ExpoForum Convention and Exhibition Centre. Mikhail Metzel/TASS Host Photo Agency (Photo by Mikhail Metzel\TASS via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 15: Megyn Kelly attends the 2017 NBCUniversal Upfront at Radio City Music Hall on May 15, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 01: Megyn Kelly attends 'Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garcons: Art Of The In-Between' Costume Institute Gala - Arrivals at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 1, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Rabbani and Solimene Photography/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 25: Megyn Kelly attends the 2017 Time 100 Gala at Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 25, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)
Fox News host Megyn Kelly greets the crowd before interviewing Republican presidential candidate Texas Sen. Ted Cruz on Tuesday, March 8, 2016, at Calvary Baptist Church in Raleigh, N.C. (Travis Long/Raleigh News & Observer/TNS via Getty Images)
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE -- Pictured: Megyn Kelly -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 24: Megyn Kelly (C), Darth Vader and Stormtroopers from the 501st Legion attend New York Philharmonic's Spring Gala, A John Williams Celebration at David Geffen Hall on May 24, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for New York Philharmonic)
LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 07: Fox News reporter Megyn Kelly attends the 142nd Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 07, 2016 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Joey Foley/FilmMagic)
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 0470 -- Pictured: Journalist Megyn Kelly during an interview on May 12, 2016 -- (Photo by: Andrew Lipovsky/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 02: Megyn Kelly attends the 'Manus x Machina: Fashion In An Age Of Technology' Costume Institute Gala at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 2, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 30: Douglas Brunt and Megyn Kelly attend the 102nd White House Correspondents' Association Dinner on April 30, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/WireImage)
MEGYN KELLY presents: Megyn Kelly (R) and Donald Trump (L) during the FOX special 'MEGYN KELLY presents' airing Tuesday, May 17 (8:00-9:01 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by Eric Liebowitz/FOX via Getty Images)
MEGYN KELLY presents: Megyn Kelly (R) interviews Michael Douglas (L) during the FOX Special MEGYN KELLY presents airing Tuesday, May 17 (8:00-9:01 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by Eric Liebowitz/FOX via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 08: Journalist Megyn Kelly attends Variety's Power Of Women: New York 2016 at Cipriani Midtown on April 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Monica Schipper/FilmMagic)
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DES MOINES, IA - JANUARY 28: Moderators Chris Wallace (L) pats on the shoulder of Megyn Kelly (2nd L) as they wait with Bret Baier (R) for the beginning of the Fox News - Google GOP Debate January 28, 2016 at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines, Iowa. Residents of Iowa will vote for the Republican nominee at the caucuses on February 1. Donald Trump, who is leading most polls in the state, decided not to participate in the debate. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - Megyn Kelly appears on ABCs 'Good Morning America,' Friday, February 5, 2016. 'Good Morning America' airs Monday Friday (7-9am, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Lorenzo Bevilaqua/ABC via Getty Images) MEGYN KELLY
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 0411 -- Pictured: (l-r) Journalist Megyn Kelly during an interview with host Jimmy Fallon on February 4, 2016 -- (Photo by: Andrew Lipovsky/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - Megyn Kelly appears on ABCs 'Good Morning America,' Friday, February 5, 2016. 'Good Morning America' airs Monday Friday (7-9am, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Lorenzo Bevilaqua/ABC via Getty Images) MEGYN KELLY
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 13: News anchor Megyn Kelly speaks onstage during Fortune's Most Powerful Women Summit - Day 2 at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel on October 13, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Fortune/Time Inc)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 21: TV personality Megyn Kelly attends the 2015 Time 100 Gala at Frederick P. Rose Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 21, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 29: Megyn Kelly attends the 2014 Time 100 Gala at Frederick P. Rose Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 29, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by D Dipasupil/FilmMagic)
LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS -- Episode 080 -- Pictured: (l-r) Political commentator Megyn Kelly during an interview with host Seth Meyers on July 31, 2014 -- (Photo by: Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 27: Megyn Kelly attends at the benefit concert for Army SPC Bryan Dilberain at the Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts on April 27, 2012 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 19: Kid Rock with host Megyn Kelly visits FOX's 'America Live' at FOX Studios on June 19, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images)
ORLANDO, FL - SEPTEMBER 22: Fox anchor Megyn Kelly prepares for the Fox News/Google GOP Debate at the Orange County Convention Center on September 22, 2011 in Orlando, Florida. The debate features the nine Republican candidates two days before the Florida straw poll. (Photo by Charles Ommanney/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 10: Megyn Kelly, host of America Live on set at Fox News studios in New York. Fox News Channel celebrated its 15th anniversary on the air on October 7th.
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A spokesperson for Kelly did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for further comment.

Kelly isn't the only person to criticize Starbucks' new policy. Last week, Daniel Henninger wrote a Wall Street Journal op-ed with the headline "Starbucks' Homeless Problem." 

"On instinct, Starbucks decided it could also be a homeless shelter. But then the social-media monitors vetoed that. What the Starbucks crucible makes clear is ... you can't win," Henninger wrote. "No matter what you do to try to appease the progressive zeitgeist, it will always be wrong."

What the changes actually mean

Practically speaking, many Starbucks locations have always had an open-door policy for most customers, with employees rarely preventing visitors from using the restrooms. However, some people have been excluded from the open bathroom norm. Those excluded tend to be black customers and people whom employees believe to be homeless.

Starbucks leadership has emphasized that the new policies are meant to address race. Having concrete policies in place, executives say, is a way to deal with implicit biases that some managers and employees may not realize they have, therefore making Starbucks more welcoming for all.

However, the bigger sticking point may be how the new policies impact homeless people. Starbucks has long been a welcome haven for people who are homeless for the same reason it is enjoyed by anyone looking for a place to rest their feet. It has free WiFi and ample seating, and the staff will not kick you out. Now, in most situations, the staff cannot kick you out — a marked change in how Starbucks has dealt with some homeless customers in the past.

In 2016, three Starbucks locations in parts of Los Angeles with large homeless populations closed their bathrooms to customers and non-customers to discourage homeless people from visiting to use the restrooms and free WiFi. In 2007, a woman was thrown out of a Starbucks because management thought she was homeless.

If the new policies had been in place, neither of these incidents would have happened. Instead, with the new training on Tuesday, employees will be both encouraged and required to be inclusive in a way that goes against the grain in the chain-restaurant industry.

Will Starbucks actually feel different? That remains to be seen. But, you can't discount new policies' potential for shifting Starbucks' environment — for better or for worse — just yet.

Here's the full clip from Kelly's show: 

Read more about Starbucks' closures:

 

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