A number of LGBTQ+ bars in the US have announced that they will boycott Bud Light.
Their decision follows trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney being bombarded with transphobic hate for her branded content with the beer company.
The 26-year-old influencer posted a promotional video for Bud Light with her dressed as Aubrey Hepbun.
Since then, she’s received horrendous hate for the partnership.
Brendan Whitworth, Anheuser-Busch CEO for the US, released a statement last month that seemed to pivot on the partnership.
Whitworth stated the company “never intended to be part of a discussion that divides people.”
Posting to Instagram on Friday (5 May), Sidetrack Bar outlined their decision to boycott the beer after the company distanced itself from Mulvaney.
This act “strongly brings into question their support of the LGBTQ+ community,” Sidetrack Bar wrote.
“For 41 years Sidetrack has encouraged liquor and beer companies that have wished to garner the LGBTQ+ customer base to actively support our community.”
“We gave Anheuser-Busch some time to revisit its position hoping it would realize it acted in haste. It did not”
They added: “Bud Light’s recent decision to drop the Dylan Mulvaney campaign, to put on ‘leave’ those who created it, as well as the statement by its CEO, wrongfully validates the position that it is acceptable to acquiesce to the demands of those who do not support the trans community and wish to erase LGBTQ+ visibility.”
Sidetrack noted they will no longer sell Anheuser-Busch products until they can stand against “voices of hate.”
Sidetrack wasn’t alone. 2Bears Tavern Group, which consists of four bars, will be discontinuing Anheuser-Busch products.
On the company’s Instagram on Friday (5 May), they wrote dropping Mulvaney shows “how little Anheuser-Busch cares about the LGBTQIA+ community, and in particular transgender people, who have been under unrelenting attack in this country.”
“We gave Anheuser-Busch some time to revisit its position hoping it would realize it acted in haste. It did not.”
“Instead, it went further in the wrong direction,” they added. They state this shows how far Anheuser-Busch will go to “placate those in this country who sow hate and division.”
On Monday (8 May), Michel Doukeris, the CEO of Anheuser-Busch InBev, told the Financial Times that he blamed misinformation for the controversy.
His statement added that Mulvaney’s post “was not an advertisement,” outlining the beer can with her likeness was not intended to be widely produced for sale to the public.
Bud Light’s sales were down more than 20% at the end of April, according to an Associated Press report.
However, Morning Consult‘s survey revealed the majority of US beer drinkers are favourable to brands working with a trans spokesperson.
Mulvaney, herself, has been largely absent from social media amidst the controversy.
However, she returned briefly last month to share she was “doing okay” and “sitting with my emotions” without immediately responding.