Anheuser-Busch has responded after transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney posted a video to social media excoriating the brand for allegedly abandoning the TikTok and Instagram star following immense backlash to the Bud Light brand deal featuring Mulvaney.
“I took a brand deal with a company that I love,” Mulvaney opened, finally addressing the controversy. “They also sent me one can with my face on it, you might have seen it,” the transgender star said, “I feel like it needs to go in a museum, preferably behind bulletproof glass.”
“I am bringing it up because what transpired from that video was more bullying and transphobia than I could have ever imagined,” said Mulvaney. “I should have made this video months ago.”
Mulvaney ultimately said the delay in publishing the video was caused partially by “waiting for the brand to reach out to me, but they never did.”
Mulvaney later complained, “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 hateful and transphobic as they want.” The transgender influencer insisted, “We’re customers too, I know a lot of trans and queer people who love beer.”
A 2022 survey reported that about 1.6 million people in the United States identify as transgender, or about 0.004% of the total population.
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Now, Anheuser-Busch responded to the allegations in a statement to far left website The Daily Beast, with a spokesperson telling the outlet the conglomerate remains “committed to the programs and partnerships we have forged over decades with organizations across a number of communities, including those in the LGBTQ+ community,” but neglecting to mention Mulvaney by name.
That statement came only days after Anheuser-Busch CEO Brendan Whitworth appeared on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” to minimize the Mulvaney brand deal as “a gift” and “one can” of beer. He said the company understands it waded into “a big social conversation” and that “Bud Light doesn’t belong in this divisive conversation.”
Still, Whitworth promised the company “will continue to support the communities and organizations that we have supported for decades,” including those that are pro-LGBT.
Days before that, however, Anheuser-Busch chief marketing officer Marcel Marcondes made similar comments about the “controversial and divisive debates” but said the company needs to better “understand our consumers.”