Several right-wing figures, including celebrities and Republican politicians, have called for a boycott of Budweiser, and its parent company, Anheuser-Busch, over its partnership with transgender TikTok influencer Dylan Mulvaney.
Mulvaney, whose “Days of Girlhood” video series documented the day-by-day developments during her gender transition, has been attacked by the political Right and by gender-critical feminists. They argue that, as someone assigned male at birth, she can never fully experience womanhood, and that she — and other trans women — should not be permitted access to female-only spaces or facilities.
Mulvaney’s openness about her transition has won her praise from various segments of society, including Vice President Kamala Harris.
That attention, as well as the opportunities she’s been given due to her celebrity status — such as interviewing President Joe Biden at the White House — has only further enraged her critics, who have taken out their anger on companies that have partnered with Mulvaney.
On April 1, Mulvaney announced that she had partnered with Bud Light as a “brand ambassador.” Mulvaney would use her influencer status to promote the popular beer brand.
As part of that arrangement, Bud Light created a series of custom cans featuring Mulvaney’s face and touting her TikTok series — just as it has promoted other celebrities and their accomplishments.
Mulvaney also appeared in a video touting the campaign in which she drank Bud Light while taking a bath.
The Mulvaney campaign was met with significant backlash from Mulvaney’s regular critics, with some Twitter users accusing Anheuser-Busch of attempting to push pro-transgender “propaganda” and promoting the idea that a person can transition genders.
The controversy comes at a time when conservative lawmakers have pushed through various measures aimed at restricting transgender visibility, trans-inclusive laws or policies, and the ability of trans people to access gender-affirming treatments to help them transition medically.
A company spokesperson for Anheuser-Busch told Fox News in a statement that the company “works with hundreds of influencers across our brands as one of many ways to authentically connect with audiences across various demographics and passion points.”
“From time to time, we produce unique commemorative cans for fans and for brand influencers, like Dylan Mulvaney,” the spokesperson said. “This commemorative can was a gift to celebrate a personal milestone and is not for sale to the general public.”
Many conservative activists announced they would be boycotting Bud Light and other products produced by Anheuser-Busch.
Rock artist Kid Rock took to Twitter, posting a video of himself wearing a “MAGA” hat, telling his viewers, “Grandpa’s feeling a little frisky today. Let me say something to all you and be as clear and concise as possible.”
He then used a rifle to fire gunshots at several cases of Bud Light beer while cursing out the company. The video received more than 50 million views.
Country music singer Travis Tritt also jumped on board with the anti-Bud Light campaign, tweeting that he “will be deleting all Anheuser-Busch products from my tour hospitality rider.”
He claimed that other musicians are doing the same but won’t say so publicly for “fear of being ridiculed and canceled.”
Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) has been keen to attack companies that partner with Mulvaney, tweeting, “God bless you,” in response to Tritt’s announcement.
She also trained her fire on sports apparel company Nike for partnering with Mulvaney, who appears in a video wearing leggings. “Never hire a man for a woman’s job,” Greene tweeted.
The Georgia congresswoman also responded to another tweet from Tritt singling out whiskey company Jack Daniels for a social media series featuring three drag queens from the RuPaul’s Drag Race franchise — Trinity the Tuck, Bebe Zahara Benet, and Manila Luzon — even though the ad campaign is two years old.
“All the Jack Daniels US drinkers should take note,” Tritt tweeted, with Greene responding, “Noted.”
Another social media video showed someone pouring a can of Bud Light down a kitchen sink drain in protest of the company’s partnership with Mulvaney. That video has been viewed over a million times.
Supporters of Kari Lake, the losing candidate in the 2022 race for Arizona governor, reportedly refused to drink Bud Light or other Bud-related products at an open bar, according to Newsweek.
In Florence, Kentucky, a barbecue eatery announced in a since-deleted Facebook post that the restaurant and bar would no longer carry Budweiser and Bud Light due to “inappropriate labels,” reports Cincinnati-based CBS affiliate WCPO.
The restaurant’s owner, Guy Cummins, said he received backlash after making the post public, but claims that his decision had nothing to do with the Mulvaney campaign. Rather, Cummins said, the decision was prompted because some patrons have been harassing anyone who orders Bud Light at the restaurant or bar, due to previous pro-LGBTQ advertising by Budweiser.
The backlash has been mocked by some LGBTQ advocates, who note that many companies have previously expressed support for the LGBTQ community.
For example, one social media user, “Lakota Man,” mocked people who claim they will switch from drinking Bud Light to drinking Coors Light, pointing to the latter’s previous history of LGBTQ support and its progressive pro-LGBTQ employment and health care policies.
“MAGA: ‘I’m switching to Coors Light.’ Coors Light: ‘The f*** you are’,” he tweeted.
MAGA: “I’m switching to Coors Light.”
Coors Light: “The fuck you are.” pic.twitter.com/6BmOA5Ra61
— Lakota Man (@LakotaMan1) April 4, 2023
As reported by Newsweek, half of America’s top 10 most popular beer brands have marketed themselves as pro-LGBTQ in some fashion.
For example, Corona Extra and Modelo Especial are owned by Constellation Brands, which partnered with Stonewall Sports, a national umbrella organization for LGBTQ sports leagues, and has adopted pro-LGBTQ policies.
Similarly, Bud’s chief competitor, Miller Lite, has donated money to LGBTQ causes and previously launched an “Open & Proud” campaign in 2021.
Libs of TikTok is demanding a boycott of Listerine for packaging featuring Pride-themed illustrations on its bottle. Chaya Raichik, who runs the online account on social media, posted an image of the popular mouthwash in packaging with drawings of same-gender couples holding hands or displaying rainbow flags.
As previously noted by LGBTQ Nation, Libs of TikTok has been influential in shaping public opinion on LGBTQ-related issues on social media, often ginning up outrage among social conservatives over expressions of LGBTQ visibility.
The Pride-themed wrapping on the bottle mentions the "Care With Pride" initiative, started by pharmaceutical industry giant Johnson & Johnson, the parent company of Listerine.
A transgender swimmer at a Division III college in New Jersey recently broke the school's record in the 100-yard women's butterfly event.
The win sparked a backlash on social media that included death threats.
On Saturday, Nov. 18, Meghan Cortez-Fields of Ramapo College in Mahwah, N.J., won the women's 100-yard butterfly at a meet hosted by Misericordia University in Dallas, Pennsylvania, with a time of 57.22 seconds, beating the school's previous event record of 57.97 seconds.
Cortez-Fields also won -- but did not set a record in -- the 200-yard individual medley race, with a time of 2 minutes, 12.05 seconds, placed second in the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 2 minutes, 17.85 seconds, and was a member of the school's 200-meter and 400-meter freestyle and medley relay teams at the meet.
The National Hockey League has reversed its previously announced ban on the use of Pride Tape during games following criticism that it infringed on players' free speech rights.
The league, players' union, and a committee on inclusion reversed course, agreeing to allow players to represent social causes -- including but not limited to LGBTQ inclusion -- important to them with stick tape during warmups, practices, and games.
The league had sought to ban rainbow-colored Pride tape for all on-ice activities to cater to a handful of players on teams who wished not to be associated with pro-LGBTQ initiatives or events for religious or political reasons.
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