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Bud Light ‘will be extinct in a few years’ for disavowing Dylan Mulvaney

The attempt by Bud Light’s parent company, Anheuser-Busch, to distance itself from transgender social media influencer Dylan Mulvaney puts the iconic American beer brand at risk of going “extinct,” according to an LGBTQ activist.

Stacey Lentz, co-owner of New York City’s historic gay and lesbian landmark Stonewall Inn, told Newsweek that Bud Light “missed an opportunity to stand by their commitment to the trans community by pandering to and giving in to transphobic outcries.”

Anheuser-Busch CEO Michel Doukeris told investors on an earnings call Thursday that the company was disavowing ties to Mulvaney.

“We need to clarify the facts that this was one can, one influencer, one post and not a campaign,” Michel Doukeris told investors during the call.

Doukeris was attempting damage control after calls for a boycott of Bud Light grew in the wake of its partnership with Mulvaney.

But Lentz and other LGBTQ activists think the company failed to stand behind the transgender influencer and stick up for the community.

“As far as marketing, I hope and think they realized that as a brand they will be extinct in a few years if they are not fully on the side of equality, as that is what the Gen Z consumer expects and demands,” Lentz told Newsweek.

She said she sympathized with Mulvaney “as this whole thing was not handled well and she was caught in the middle of a horrible firestorm.”

Anheuser-Busch’s attempt to distance itself from transgender social media influencer Dylan Mulvaney has angered some in the LGBTQ community.
Dylan Mulvaney / Instagram

Last month, John Casey, senior editor of the LGBTQ magazine Advocate, published an op-ed calling for a boycott of Bud Light for “validating trans hate.”

What we know about Dylan Mulvaney

Who is Dylan Mulvaney?

Dylan Mulvaney is a 26-year-old transgender influencer, who documented her transition from male to female on TikTok beginning in March 2021. Mulvaney has capitalized on the popularity of TikTok as well as companies trying to promote diversity.

What is the controversy surrounding Mulvaney?

Recently, Bud Light partnered with Mulvaney, sending her cans featuring her face and sparking a major “controversy” on the internet.

Mulvaney has reportedly earned over $1 million from endorsements, including fashion and beauty brands such as Kate Spade, Ulta Beauty, Haus Labs and CeraVe. Mulvaney also has a partnership with Nike, which critics have called “a slap to the face.”

How did the public respond to the partnership?

Since news broke about the partnership, many celebrities have taken to social media to share their opinions on the matter, with some calling for a boycott of all Anheuser-Busch drinks. 

One such celeb was Kid Rock, who posted a video of him opening fire on Bud Light cans.

Country music star Travis Tritt tweeted: “I will be deleting all Anheuser-Busch products from my tour hospitality rider. I know many other artists who are doing the same.”

As Megyn Kelly addressed the controversy, she was called out by viewers for what was dubbed a “transphobic tirade.”

What was Anheuser-Busch’s response to the backlash?

Anheuser-Busch defended its decision to enlist Mulvaney as a Bud Light brand influencer Monday in the face of growing backlash.

Anheuser-Busch said the cans with Mulvaney’s face on them were a personal gift and that she’s among hundreds of influencers with whom the company partners.

Learn more about Dylan Mulvaney

“Rather than come to the defense of a transgender woman, rather than defend a noble campaign that sought to reflect acceptance, and rather than let the campaign with Mulvaney speak for itself, Anheuser-Busch poured alcohol all over an extremist’s fire, and that will continue to singe our community,” Casey wrote.

The Human Rights Campaign, one of the nation’s most prominent LGBTQ advocacy groups, denounced Bud Light and Anheuser-Busch for not forcefully pushing back on the boycott calls.

LGBTQ activists were frustrated over what they saw as Anheuser-Busch's failure to push back on "transphobic outcries."
LGBTQ activists were frustrated over what they saw as Anheuser-Busch’s failure to push back on “transphobic outcries.”
@dylanmulvaney via REUTERS

“In this moment, it is absolutely critical for Anheuser-Busch to stand in solidarity with Dylan and the trans community,” Jay Brown, a senior vice president at HRC, said in a statement to Ad Age.

“However, when faced with anti-LGBTQ+ and transphobic criticism, Anheuser-Busch’s actions demonstrate a profound lack of fortitude in upholding its values of diversity, equity, and inclusion to employees, customers, shareholders and the LGBTQ+ community.”

HRC said it was “preparing to lower Anheuser-Busch’s long-standing 100 percent Corporate Equality Index score, a national benchmarking tool on corporate policies, practices and benefits relevant to LGBTQ employees” as a result of its response to the Mulvaney backlash, according to the Hill.

Bud Light sales have steadily declined since the April 1 Dylan Mulvaney posts went viral.
Bud Light sales have steadily declined since the April 1 Dylan Mulvaney posts went viral.

An LGBTQ boycott of Bud Light could be bad timing for the brand since Pride Month, which starts on June 1, is just weeks away.

Sales of Bud Light plunged 21% year-over-year during the week that ended April 22, the latest figures show.

The Post has sought comment from Anheuser-Busch.

A viral TikTok video appeared to show Red Sox fans at Fenway Park shun a concession stand whose refrigerator was stocked with cans of Bud Light.

This story originally appeared on NYPost

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