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Anheuser-Busch loses LGBTQ+ rating over Bud Light controversy

The nation’s largest gay advocacy group stripped Anheuser-Busch of a key metric following the beer giant’s backpedaling over Bud Light’s controversial tie-up with trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney.

The Human Rights Campaign, which issues a Corporate Equality Index to rate companies on their policies toward workers in the LGBTQ community, told the Belgian-based brewer that it will slash its perfect 100 score, according to a letter leaked to USA Today on Thursday.

Bud Light’s parent company has been scrambling to fix the fallout from having Mulvaney associated with the brand.

Sales of the nation’s top-selling beer have plummeted nearly 25% since Mulvaney posted a photo of a Bud Light tallboy featuring her face on April 1.

“Anheuser-Busch had a key moment to really stand up and demonstrate the importance of their values of diversity, equity and inclusion and their response really fell short,” Eric Eric Bloem, HRC’s senior director, programs and corporate advocacy, said, told USA Today.

Anheuser-Busch previously achieved 100 on the index, scoring perfectly in four criteria: protections from workplace discrimination, inclusive benefits, corporate social responsibility and responsible citizenship.

As a result, it boasted a “Best Places to Work for LGBTQ+ Equality” seal.

The Human Rights Campaign informed Anheuser-Busch that it was losing its high-scoring Corporate Equality Index for how it handled the backlash surrounding Bud Light’s controversy with trans star Dylan Mulvaney.

However, HRC’s May 9 letter to Anheuser-Busch said it plans to decrease to its Corporate Equality Index rating.

The company has 90 days to respond.

HRC’s website on Friday showed Anheuser-Busch has a “points deducted” notice for responsible citizenship criteria.

Anheuser-Busch previously achieved 100 on the advocacy group's Corporate Equality Index. One of four criteria -- responsible citizenship -- is now showing "points deducted."
Anheuser-Busch previously achieved 100 on the advocacy group’s Corporate Equality Index. One of four criteria — responsible citizenship — is now showing “points deducted.”
Human Rights Campaign

Anheuser-Busch didn’t immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment on the letter from the HRC.

“Our ERGs (employee resource groups) are intended to be a safe space for those who identify with a given community and those who wish to be allies,” Anheuser-Busch said in an email to USA Today.

Anheuser-Busch continues to face pressure from conservatives, as well. US Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) sent the company’s US CEO Brandon Whitworth a letter that calls for a probe of Bud Light’s controversial partnership with Mulvaney, citing the trans influencer’s under-21 audience.

In the letter sent Wednesday, Cruz and Blackburn claimed that Mulvaney commands an “audience [that] skews significantly younger than the legal drinking age.”

It pointed to Mulvaney’s “Days of Girlhood” series on Instagram and TikTok, where Mulvaney boasts 1.8 and 10.8 million followers, respectively.

It was on Mulvaney’s 365th day of girlhood — April 1 — that Bud Light sent her a can with her face on it to celebrate.

The image of the custom can sparked immediate outrage from conservatives that resulted in boycotts of Bud Light.

The beer giant has tried to disavow its ties to Mulvaney, blaming the promotion on a since-fired third-party marketing firm.

It has also placed two marketing executives on leave.

“We need to clarify the facts that this was one can, one influencer, one post and not a campaign,” Michel Doukeris, CEO of Anheuser-Busch’s parent company AB InBev, said during an earnings call last month.

Doukeris went on to decry the “misinformation” spread on social media after Mulvaney posted the photo of the custom can.

Nationwide retail sales of Bud Light sales dropped 23.6% versus a year ago during the week ended May 6 — slightly worse than the 23.3% decline for the week ended April 29, according to data from Bump Williams Consulting and NielsenIQ data.

The controversy began on April 1, when Mulvaney shared a custom can Bud Light sent her to celebrate "365 Days of Girlhood."
The controversy began on April 1, when Mulvaney shared a custom can Bud Light sent her to celebrate “365 Days of Girlhood.”
Dylan Mulvaney/Instagram

Sales of other Anheuser-Busch brands also have been hurt.

Budweiser was down 9.7% versus an 11.4% drop a week earlier; Michelob Ultra dipped 2.9% versus 4.3%; and Natural Light was down 2.5% versus 5.2% the previous week.

This story originally appeared on NYPost

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