Two attacked outside beer shop by homophobes who thought they’d bought Bud Light, police say

A split image of the suspect in an Ontario assault case and Dylan Mulvaney drinking Bud Light.

A “possibly hate-motivated” assault took place outside of a liquor store after the attackers mistook a man’s purchase for Bud Light, police believe.

A man and woman were injured in the incident outside of a Vaughan, Ontario liquor store on 6 May.

York Regional Police said that the pair were targeted by a group of men who yelled homophobic slurs and “commented on the male victim’s choice of alcohol” as the left the store.

The suspects reportedly believed the man had purchased Bud Light – the brand is currently the target of a right-wing backlash over its collaboration with trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney.

A police spokesperson told Global News the man had actually purchased another beer that had “some rainbow colours on the cans”.

“Upon further determination as to what they purchased, they still weren’t happy with that. Let’s just put it that way,” they said.

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As one man continued throwing insults at the man, the female victim reportedly stepped in between them. Police say she was then was assaulted, with two other men joining in and attacking both victims.

The assault continued until a bystander intervened, prompting the suspects to flee the scene.

Both victims sustained injuries, with the woman having to go to hospital to be treated for hers.

Officers urged anyone with information on the incident to come forward and help identify the assailants.

“It is believed there was a crowd of people nearby at the time of the incident. Any witnesses who have not yet spoken to investigators are asked to come forward.”

Bud Light Dylan Mulvaney backlash explained

Anti-LGBTQ+ lawmakers, pundits and social media users have targeted Dylan Mulvaney and Bud LIght since the influencer collaborated with the beer company on a single, sponsored Instagram post at the start of April.

To mark the one-year anniversary of Mulvaney’s “Days of Girlhood” TikTok series, Bud Light delivered a personalised beer can with her face printed on it, which she shared in an Instagram post.

In the weeks since Mulvaney has been targeted with transphobic abuse, while Bud Light has been targeted with right-wing boycotts and violence towards those supporting the beer brand.

Amid the backlash, Anheuser-Busch CEO Brendan Whitworth made a statement interpreted as distancing the brand from Mulvaney.

“We never intended to be part of a discussion that divides people. We are in the business of bringing people together over a beer.

“My time serving this country taught me the importance of accountability and the values upon which America was founded: freedom, hard work and respect for one another,” he said.

In light of this, a number of LGBTQ+ bars have dropped Bud Light

At the end of April, following weeks of abuse, Dylan Mulvaney shared a video clarifying how she felt about the ordeal.

Dylan Mulvaney wears pink feather boa and pink eyeshadow against a black background
Dylan Mulvaney.(Chelsea Guglielmino/Getty Images)

“I’ve been offline for a few weeks and a lot has been said about me, some of which is so far from the truth,” she said. “I was hearing my name and I didn’t even know who they were talking about sometimes.

“I’m doing OK. I’m trying this new thing where I don’t pressure myself to share anything before I’m ready. I’m sitting with my emotions, not reacting … Shockingly, I can’t recommend it more.”

“As CEO of Anheuser-Busch, I am focused on building and protecting our remarkable history and heritage.”

The statement prompted several LGBTQ+ bars to drop Bud Light, including Chicago’s Sidetrack Bar, who said the company “wrongfully validates the position that it is acceptable to acquiesce to the demands of those who do not support the trans community”.

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