Anheuser-Busch InBev faced backlash after featuring transgender TikToker Dylan Mulvaney in a Bud Light advertising campaign. Following the controversy, the beer company distanced itself from Mulvaney, leading to criticism from several LGBTQI+ clubs in Chicago.
The 2Bears Tavern Group, which operates four gay bars in Chicago, and the Sidetrack pub issued statements cutting ties with Anheuser-Busch InBev, claiming the decision demonstrated the company’s lack of concern for the transgender community. As a result, Anheuser-Busch beers will no longer be sold in these establishments. The controversy began after Anheuser-Busch produced Pride-themed cans with a range of pronouns and collaborated with Mulvaney on a sponsored post.
The campaign was met with backlash, and consumers vowed to boycott the beer. Anheuser-Busch CEO Michel Doukeris distanced the company from Mulvaney in a conference with investors, clarifying that it was one can, one influencer, and one post and not a campaign.
Critics accused the 2Bears Tavern Group of censoring transgender people in favor of anti-trans rhetoric, and others criticized Doukeris’s comments as validating the position that it is acceptable to bow down to those who do not support the trans community.