Dylan Mulvaney, a transgender influencer, has been subjected to harassment from the right-wing for the past month. One congressman even went so far as to call Mulvaney a “pedophile” because of a marketing partnership agreement she signed with Bud Light. Instead of supporting her, the owners of Bud Light are attempting to distance themselves from the alliance. Following Budweiser’s latest attempt to distance itself from Mulvaney, the governor of Colorado, who is openly gay, has vowed to boycott the beer company.
Mulvaney shared an Instagram video on April 1st showing personalized Bud Light cans with her face on them. Over the next month, conservatives reacted by recording videos of themselves shooting up cases of Bud Light beer and pouring out the beer. Elected Republicans made unfounded claims that Mulvaney was a pedophile and that her Instagram post would upset the balance of power in the world. Some people declared they would avoid Bud Light and instead support other LGBTQ+-friendly brands.
Anheuser-Busch, the parent company of Bud Light, released a statement at the end of April claiming that it “never wanted to be part of a conversation that divides people… We specialize in establishing connections between individuals over beer.” During a conference call with investors, Anheuser-Busch CEO Michel Doukeris distanced the company from Mulvaney, stating that the collaboration was “one can, one influencer, and one post” and not a campaign. He also announced that the company would triple its media investment in Bud Light during the summer.
Governor Jared Polis of Colorado tweeted that he had considered breaking his lifetime boycott of Budweiser but had decided to continue the boycott. He misattributed a comment to Doukeris and quoted a tweet that referenced Doukeris’s call with investors. The last quotation was from a letter sent by distributor Grey Eagle to its clients, and it is unclear if the letter represents Anheuser-Busch’s viewpoint.