Why Conservatives Are Calling For A Bud Light Boycott

In a move that looks exactly like the "cancel culture" conservatives love to hate, critics of Bud Light's partnership with transgender rights activist Dylan Mulvaney are calling on like-minded people to boycott the brand. Self-appointed spokesperson for the movement, Kid Rock, responded by posting a video in which he fired an automatic weapon at cases of Bud Light, where he swore at (and presumably off) the brand and its brewer, Anheuser-Busch. Such boycotts are becoming more and more common, as are these kinds of rallying cries against the "woke agenda" on social media by conservative celebrities and politicians alike. 

What caused the uproar? On April 2, 2023, Dylan Mulvaney announced her partnership with Bud Light via Instagram, in a video encouraging Bud Light fans to enter the #EasyCarryContest, in which participants share videos of themselves carrying multiple cans of the beer for a chance to win $15,000. Mulvaney mentioned that Bud Light had sent her personalized cans featuring her face to celebrate her 365th day of womanhood and showed an image of the can, which she called "possibly the best gift ever."

Conservative reaction was swift

Public conservatives rapidly expressed their displeasure. Provocative commentator Tomi Lahren tweeted to the brand, "Do y'all really think a man pretending to be a woman ... is how you sell beer?" Several Republican officials that previously sought office also joined in on the outrage. The former New Jersey congressional candidate Mike Crispi tweeted, "Boycott Bud Light and NEVER DRINK IT AGAIN EVER," and former Tennessee primary congressional candidate Robby Starbuck tweeted, "I never wanted a drink less than this." And the backlash has certainly not been limited to those that once sought office. Conservative veteran Brian Black posted a video showing a Bud Light being poured down the drain with the hashtag, #GoWokeGoBrokeBudLight.

This dustup is reminiscent of the social media uproar that occurred just last month over Hershey's decision to feature a trans woman in its International Woman's Day campaign in Canada. Calling the response a "transphobic backlash from many conservative commentators and fans of the beer alike," MarketWatch says the Bud Light-Mulvaney partnership could be an effective strategy to capture a younger demographic. Bud Light and Anheuser Busch, in a statement to MarketWatch, said, "Anheuser-Busch works with hundreds of influencers across our brands as one of many ways to authentically connect with audiences across various demographics." And marketing expert Thomas Donohoe told the outlet that Bud Light's strategy is likely to be successful over the long term, saying, "In 20 years, concerns like this are going to be laughed at."