Canadian authorities are investigating a possible hate crime that occurred in Vaughan, Ontario, where two individuals were assaulted by three males who believed that they had purchased Bud Light. The incident happened on Saturday night at around 8:30 pm outside a liquor shop. According to reports, one of the suspects made derogatory remarks about the male victim’s choice of drink and yelled anti-homosexual slurs as he approached him. The suspects accosted a man and a woman, and the female victim was reportedly beaten when she intervened. The male victim was also attacked and fell to the ground as a result of the involvement of two other suspects.
The police have released images of one of the suspects and are urging anyone who witnessed the incident to come forward. They believe that there was a gathering present when the assault happened and are asking anyone with information about the suspects’ identities or whereabouts to contact them immediately. The female victim was reportedly given medical care for her wounds at a local hospital, while the male victim was unharmed.
The incident is believed to have been sparked by the alleged purchase of Bud Light, which has recently been in the news due to a commercial alliance with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney. This alliance prompted conservatives who are anti-LGBTQ+ to demand a boycott of the parent company Anheuser-Busch’s goods. However, the victim had not actually purchased Bud Light, and the suspects were still not satisfied when they discovered what they had bought. The beer cans reportedly had some rainbow-colored paint on them, which may have led the suspects to believe that they were supporting the LGBTQ+ community.
Anheuser-Busch has drawn criticism from the LGBTQ+ community for its lackluster response to the anti-trans backlash, even as anti-LGBTQ+ conservatives have called for a boycott of its beer. The corporation claimed in a statement released in April that it had “never intended to be part of a discussion that divides people,” but it made no mention of transphobia. Two marketing executives who were in charge of the Mulvaney alliance reportedly took leaves of absence last month as a result of the incident.
The CEO of Anheuser-Busch InBev, Michel Doukeris, brought up the matter in a call with investors last week. He stated that the company would “continue to learn, meet the moment in time, be stronger, and work relentlessly to bring people together over a drink and create a future of more cheers.” Several LGBTQ+ establishments in Chicago reportedly removed Anheuser-Busch goods from their menus when Doukeris came under fire for failing to defend Mulvaney, transgender persons, or LGBTQ+ people in general in the face of anti-LGBTQ+ hostility.
Anheuser-Busch has come under fire in the past for supporting anti-LGBTQ+ politicians while also promoting to the LGBTQ+ community, especially during Pride festivities. The incident in Vaughan highlights the ongoing discrimination and violence that LGBTQ+ individuals face, and it is a reminder that more needs to be done to combat hate crimes and bigotry. The police are urging anyone with information about the suspects or the assault to come forward, and the LGBTQ+ community is calling for Anheuser-Busch to take a more proactive stance in defending the rights and dignity of transgender and LGBTQ+ people.