What does Hailey do that upsets Starr in The Hate U Give? How does Hailey respond to Starr feeling upset?

Hailey upsets Starr by making a racist remark about fried chicken during a basketball game. Hailey responds to Starr's being upset by claiming that it was just a joke made in reference to what was served at lunch that day.

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One day in gym class, some of the students at Williamson Prep are participating in a girls-versus-boys basketball game. Hailey takes the game very seriously indeed, but the other girls just see it as an opportunity to flirt with the boys.

Hailey drags a reluctant Starr and Maya onto the court in the hope of firing up their waning enthusiasm. But Starr soon becomes distracted by her boyfriend, Chris. Seeing that Starr's not taking the game seriously, Hailey yells at her to pretend that the ball is some fried chicken. Starr immediately interprets this as a racial slur, as she's the only Black girl in the school.

After the game, Starr confronts Hailey about her hateful remarks. However, Hailey is completely unrepentant. She claims that she was only making a joke about the fried chicken that had been served in the school cafeteria at lunchtime and which Starr had been pleased to see on the menu.

But Starr knows better. Hailey's remarks are simply one more example of the many microaggressions and racist comments that Starr has had to put up with since she started attending the virtually all-white Williamson Prep. And so she finds Hailey's attempts to explain away her remarks totally unconvincing.

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