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30 Jun, 2023 20:00

Trans influencer slams Bud Light in first public statement since ad debacle

The CEO of parent company Anheuser-Busch has refused to commit to working with Dylan Mulvaney again
Trans influencer slams Bud Light in first public statement since ad debacle

Transgender social media influencer Dylan Mulvaney lashed out at Bud Light and parent company Anheuser-Busch in a video posted to social media on Friday, accusing them of abandoning the “Days of Girlhood” TikToker after Mulvaney’s promo spot for the beer triggered a very expensive backlash.

Revealing why Mulvaney had waited until three months after the Bud Light promo was posted to come forward, the 26-year-old explained, “I was waiting for the brand to reach out to me, but they never did.

For a company to hire a trans person and then not publicly stand by them is worse than not hiring a trans person at all. Because it gives customers permission to be as transphobic and as hateful as they want,” Mulvaney said, warning Anheuser-Busch that LGBTQ people drink beer too. 

The performer complained that public reaction was out of proportion to an Instagram video shared with Mulvaney’s 1.8 million followers. “You would have thought I was, like, on a billboard or on a TV commercial,” Mulvaney said, observing, “What transpired from that video was more bullying and transphobia than I could ever imagine.”

That harassment continued offline, Mulvaney added, claiming to have been followed, taunted, and threatened. “To turn a blind eye and act like everything’s OK – it just isn’t an option right now,” the actor stated.

The original video featured Mulvaney in a black cocktail dress, elbow-length gloves, and an Audrey Hepburn hairdo feigning ignorance about sports and carrying a six-pack of Bud Light. A second spot showed Mulvaney in a bathtub covered in foam, brandishing a can with the influencer’s face on it. 

Despite transitioning to female just over a year ago – the custom can was a gift celebrating “365 days of girlhood” – Mulvaney reportedly made as much as $1 million last year promoting products normally associated with women, including sports bras and tampons, despite lacking the relevant anatomy. 

While the exact amount Anheuser-Busch lost in the boycott is unknown, it was at least $20 billion – as well as Bud Light’s coveted spot as Americans’ favorite beer, a title which has since been seized by Modelo. 

Amazingly, the company’s US CEO Brendan Whitworth has not ruled out collaborating with Mulvaney again – though he has not exactly said he would, either. Asked by a CBS anchor whether he would send the influencer another can, Whitworth dodged the question with a canned response about the “social conversation” the marketing fail had inspired.

The company has denied rumors it fired the executives responsible for the disastrous promotion, claiming marketing VP Alissa Heinerscheid and mainstream brands VP Daniel Blake instead took “voluntary leaves of absence” after their advertising choice cost their employer billions of dollars.