Stonewall Inn explains why it stopped selling Bud Light – and it’s nothing to do with Dylan Mulvaney

The Stonewall Inn

The bar where police raids sparked the 1969 Stonewall uprising has revealed why it stopped serving Bud Light – and it has nothing to do with calls for a boycott over the beer brand’s collaboration with trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney.

Co-owners of New York’s Stonewall Inn, Stacy Lentz and Kurt Kelly, have revealed that the bar turned its back on Bud Light’s parent company, Anheuser-Busch, in 2021. 

At that time, the bar staged a “Keep Your Pride” campaign, which involving refusing to serve products of companies that claimed to be allies of the queer community but which also donated funds to anti-LGBTQ+ individuals.

“The reason we did that… was because they were out there waving the rainbow flag very vehemently, then turning around and contributing to anti-LGBTQ legislators, which can’t happen,” Lentz told Newsweek. “Our communities are fed up with that.”

Lentz said Bud Light’s collaboration with Mulvaney, who has 12 million followers on TikTok, “makes sense” and warned other businesses: “If you don’t market to Gen Z, then in 20 years or 30 years, your business will not exist because Gen Z is all about equality. Your consumer is ageing out.”

The backlash to the collaboration “was ridiculous,” and “the fact that they catered to it was alarming,” she added.

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“But at the same time, they at least made an effort. I thought it was a great campaign.”

A split imiage of the beer can that Dylan Mulvaney received and her Instagram video.
Dylan Mulvaney was the victim of a transphobic backlash over her social media collaboration with Bud Light. (Credit: Getty Images)

Anheuser-Busch faced a deluge of attacks from anti-trans people after they sent Mulvaney a single personalised can to celebrate the first anniversary of her “Days of Girlhood” TikTok series.

The reactions were extreme. One man was arrested after destroying a shelf of beer in a Kansas Walmart store, singer Kid Rock filmed himself shooting Bud Light cans and a number of country stars, including Riley Green, Travis Tritt, John Rich and Brantley Gilbert made their feelings known – sometimes not very subtly.

The company was then criticised by LGBTQ+ people and allies, over its “pathetic” response to the backlash.

Following the criticism, the company has rebranded its beer in a bid to regain the loyalty of its furious customers. 

However, despite Target, Bud Light and Innocent Drinks being among the brands to face boycott calls over LGBTQ+ inclusion, stats show that most Americans appreciate and value queer people being featured in advertising.

According to GLAAD’s Accelerating Acceptance survey, 75 per cent of straight people feel comfortable seeing LGBTQ+ in advertising, while 60 per cent of heterosexuals agree that seeing queer people in ads makes them more comfortable with those who are different to themselves.

The Stonewall Inn, in Greenwich Village, is now a national historic landmark. The uprising began in the early hours of 28 June 1969, following a police raid, and led to six days of protests that many now see as the spark for the gay rights movement.