Ted Cruz demands ‘investigation’ into Bud Light’s collab with Dylan Mulvaney

Composite image of Texas senator Ted Cruz and TikTok star Dylan Mulvaney as Cruz threatens to open an investigation into an ad she did with Bud Light

Texas senator Ted Cruz has continued the right-wing meltdown over trans TikTok star Dylan Mulvaney’s advert with Bud Light, stating that he now wants to investigate the beer company over its advertising. 

The beer brand sparked intense criticism earlier this year after sending 26-year-old Mulvaney a single personalised can of Bud Light to celebrate her 365 days of public transition.

The following weeks saw people smashing Bud Light in stores, musician Kid Rock shooting cans with an assault weapon and bars refusing to sell the beer due to religious beliefs. 

The backlash became so disproportionate that even controversial podcast host Joe Rogan stepped in to defend Mulvaney, asking why people “give a f**k”.

On Thursday (18 May), Cruz appeared on Fox News to call for a federal investigation into the advert, claiming that Mulvaney’s content appeals to teenagers, and therefore Bud Light – and parent company Anheuser-Busch – was advertising its beer to minors.

“A massive percentage of Dylan Mulvaney’s audience are kids and Budweiser was trying I believe, with this ill-fated marketing attempt, to target teenagers,” Cruz said.

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“We’re calling on the Beer Institute to investigate the degree to which Anheuser-Busch knowingly was marketing to children in going down this road.”

Cruz and Tennessee senator Marsha Blackburn wrote a letter to the CEO of Anheuser-Busch, who is also the chair of regulatory body the Beer Institute, detailing their concerns. 

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The letter, which repeatedly misgenders Mulvaney, calls for Bud Light to “sever its relationship with Mulvaney”, and for the TikTok star to “publicly apologise” and delete any content containing the beer brand from her TikTok and Instagram pages. 

It added that as Mulvaney tailors some content to younger viewers, she shouldn’t be advertising beer, despite the fact that she is five years above the drinking age in America.

“We believe that Anheuser-Busch’s clear failure to exercise appropriate due diligence when selecting online influencers for its marketing efforts warrants detailed oversight by Congress,” the letter states.

Dylan Mulvaney broke her silence over the intense transphobic backlash to the beer ad in late April, explaining she’s “okay”, but she doesn’t “pressure” herself to share as much of her life anymore.

Several weeks after she sent bigots into a tailspin over her Bud Light advert on 1 April, Mulvaney explained that she has been “offline” to let the hatred die down. 

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

Explaining why she decided to make a social media return, Mulvaney said: “I remembered nearly 13 million people enjoyed me enough at some point to hit the follow button on these apps, and I was like, wait, I wanna talk to those people.

“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.”

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Despite the anti-trans backlash, a poll has found that a majority of American beer drinkers – 53 per cent – would feel “favourably” towards a brand that works with a trans spokesperson.

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