Anheuser-Busch fired of a rapid response at transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney’s claims that the company left her out in the cold in the wake of catastrophic ad campaign.
Bud Light’s parent company responded to the Mulvaney’s lengthy social media post bemoaning how the brand did not “reach out” to her in the midst of a national boycott that cost the brand $20 billion.
Mulvaney said the partnership sparked more “bullying and more transphobia” than she ever could have imagined.
“For a company to hire a trans person and then not publicly stand by them is worse in my opinion than not hiring a trans person at all because it gives customers permission to be as transphobic and hateful as they want,” Mulvaney said in an Instagram video on Thursday.
Dylan Mulvaney breaks Bud Light silence: "for months now, I've been scared to leave my house. I have been ridiculed in public. I've been followed. And I have felt a loneliness I wouldn't wish on anyone." pic.twitter.com/DaHpoxRfFD
— Ari Drennen (@AriDrennen) June 29, 2023
Anheuser-Busch responded in a generic statement that did not address Mulveney by name.
“As we’ve said, we remain committed to the programs and partnerships we have forged over decades with organizations across a number of communities, including those in the LGBTQ+ community,” a spokesperson began.
“The privacy and safety of our employees and our partners is always our top priority.”
“As we move forward, we will focus on what we do best – brewing great beer for everyone and earning our place in moments that matter to our consumers.”
Mulvaney began the video by taking an exaggerated sip of beer and stating that she will not “tolerate” people saying that she doesn’t like beer, because she loves it and Bud Light.
The influencer also said that she lost the novelty can Bud Light sent with her face on it, but when she eventually locates it, would like the can to be put in a “museum behind bullet proof glass,” because of the “transphobia and hate” she experienced over it.
I should’ve made this video months ago but I didn’t,” Mulvaney remarked. “And I was scared, and I was scared of more backlash, and I felt personally guilty for what transpired, so I patiently waited for things to get better.”
“But surprise, they didn’t,” she accused the brewer. “And I was waiting for the brand to reach out to me, but they never did.”
Mulvaney said that the backlash has been so terrible, she’s been “scared” to leave the house.
“I have been ridiculed in public, I’ve been followed, and I have felt a loneliness that I wouldn’t wish on anyone,” she went on.
“And I’m not telling you this because I want your pity, I am telling you this because this is my experience from a very privileged perspective, know that it is much, much worse for other trans people.”
Earlier this week, Anheuser-Busch CEO Brendan Whitworth wouldn’t say if the company would ever partner with Mulvaney again.
“There’s a big social conversation taking place right now, and big brands are right in the middle of it and it’s not just our industry or Bud Light,” he told “CBS Mornings” host Gayle King.
.@AnheuserBusch CEO Brendan Whitworth says his company has begun sending financial assistance wholesalers, who he says have been impacted by the recent controversy surrounding a Bud Light promotion with Dylan Mulvaney. pic.twitter.com/fpEzyBWuFW
— CBS Mornings (@CBSMornings) June 28, 2023
“It’s happening in retail, happening in fast food. And so for us what we need to understand is — deeply understand and appreciate — is the consumer and what they want, what they care about and what they expect from big brands.”
He said that the time has been “challenging” for the brand and that as the CEO, he’s “responsible” for the impact the boycott has had on their employees, partners, and consumers.
“I think the conversation surrounding Bud Light has moved away from beer, and the conversation has become divisive,” Whitworth detailed.
“And Bud Light really doesn’t belong there. Bud Light should be all about bringing people together.”
“And there’s an impact on the business, and I think that’s publicly covered on Bud Light specifically,” he concluded.