Bud light CEO pledges to continue to support LGBTQ+ people after Dylan Mulvaney backlash

A split imiage of the beer can that Dylan Mulvaney received and her Instagram video.

The CEO of Bud Light’s parent company, Anheuser-Busch, has said it will “continue to support” the LGBTQ+ community after the transphobic backlash to one of its campaigns featuring trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney. 

The fragile conservative pushback began in April, when Bud Light sent Mulvaney a personalised can with her face on it to celebrate a year of her public transition. Soon after, bigots threatened to boycott the beer brand, smashed bottles on supermarket shelves and musician Kid Rock even shot at several cans with a gun

After the intense row, it was revealed that Bud Light is no longer America’s top-selling beer.

The brand’s CEO, however, explained that it will continue to support LGBTQ+ charities.

Speaking on CBS Mornings, Brendan Whitworth said: “Bud Light has supported LGBTQ since 1998, so that’s 25 years.

“As we’ve said from the beginning, we’ll continue to support the communities and organisations that we’ve supported for decades.”

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Whitworth added that “the conversation surrounding Bud Light has moved away from beer, and the conversation has become divisive”. 

“For us what we need to understand – deeply understand and appreciate – is the consumer and what they want, what they care about and what they expect from big brands.”

The CEO added that going forward it wanted to “focus on” the beer itself, echoing an earlier statement in which he said the company never intended to be part of a discussion that “divides people”.

This previous statement from 14 April prompted backlash from the LGBTQ+ community, with several queer bars joining the boycott of Bud Light, claiming the company had “abandoned” Mulvaney just as she was facing a wave of transphobic hatred.

Sidetrack Bar in Chicago said it would be boycotting the company after it distanced itself from Mulvaney, claiming the move “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”.

Mulvaney has since stepped back from posting daily TikToks, and has announced that she is in the process of writing a book.

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