Dylan Mulvaney Slams Bud Light's Handling Of Trans Controversy

With summer in full swing, plenty of folks might view an ice-cold swig of beer as a source of refreshment. But the recent Bud Light controversy has had many beer drinkers foaming over. On June 29, social media influencer, transgender activist, and beer fan Dylan Mulvaney opened up about the recent backlash against her partnership with Bud Light, a subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch. In a video she posted on TikTok and Instagram, Mulvaney finally addressed the onslaught of publicity and consumer outrage following the Bud Light-sponsored collaboration.

Though Anheuser-Busch claimed to uphold a commitment to togetherness rather than encouraging derisiveness between customers, the company has remained relatively silent on the matter. In a message captioned "Trans people like beer too," Mulvaney starts her response video with a long sip of beer, then goes on to recap how she accepted a brand deal with Bud Light because she enjoyed the product, but now feels disheartened at their silence on the issue. "For a company to hire a trans person, and then not publicly stand by them," says Mulvaney, "Is worse, in my opinion, than not hiring a trans person at all."

The backlash to this originally lighthearted collab arguably demonstrates the polarization of American culture, even over something as widely loved as a pint, can, or bottle of cool amber liquid. Despite a corporate-level lack of support alleged by Mulvaney, both the activist and Anheuser-Busch agree: Beer is meant to bring people together, not divide them.

Opening up about the cold one controversy

Uploaded on April 1, the inciting video is a comedic advertisement for Bud Light's NCAA Tournament promotion, which accrued an unexpected 12,000 plus comments. Many Bud Light customers swore off the brand for its support of Mulvaney's identity as a member of the transgender community. Other big names in entertainment joined the buzz, notably, the musician Kid Rock, who commented on the controversy two days later by sharing an Instagram video in which he uses a semi-automatic rifle to shoot cases of Bud Light, then profanely condemns the beer company. Conversely, country music star Garth Brooks plans to offer Bud Light at his new Nashville bar, Friend in Low Places, which provides a welcoming atmosphere to all.

But where is Bud Light in this debate? In an April 14 press release, Anheuser-Busch CEO Brendan Whitworth highlights a few of Bud Light's core values, including freedom, hard work, and respect. While Bud Light's commentary appears to generally support all consumers, the company allegedly made no effort to reach out to Mulvaney, who faced threats. Anheuser-Busch has a history of donating to the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Mulvaney closes her response with a call to support trans rights, a declaration of love, and a classy "cheers" to everyone, as long as they're of legal drinking age. It might just seem like the trending tea, or should we say beer, but Mulvaney reminds us that human rights shouldn't be a polarized political issue, and we'll drink to that.