BY C. Douglas Golden, The Western JournalMay 6, 2023
1 year ago
 | May 6, 2023
1 year ago

Bud Light Boycott Gets So Much Worse as Gay Bars Join the Fray

I'll say this much for Dylan Mulvaney, the transgender influencer who most of us were blissfully unaware of until sometime last month: He's done something that over 40 years of making terrible beer couldn't do.

He's made everyone loathe Bud Light.

It began, of course, when the trans influencer participated in a promotional campaign for the brand -- kind of a leap for a beer that prided itself on a Middle American, blue-collar image. Not only was it controversial, it was a tonal shift that could be explained by patronizing, obnoxious comments made by a VP of marketing for the brand, who told a podcast she wanted to shed the beer's "fratty" image in favor of one that embraced "inclusivity."

Well, that meant the "fratty" drinkers were out. Despite numerous apologies and hilarious "Murica"-tastic ads, sales of the beer had dropped over 26 percent in stores by the week ending April 22, according to Beer Business Daily.

And now, having alienated the "fratty" people, it turns out that the beer has alienated the "inclusivity" crowd, too.

From Block Club Chicago on Friday: "A slew of Chicago gay bars have stopped selling Anheuser Busch InBev products after the beer giant distanced itself from transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney’s Bud Light marketing campaign amid anti-trans backlash."

Ah, yes, that perfidious anti-trans backlash; according to the report, the first to drop the beers was 2Bears Tavern Group, which owns four gay bars in the Midwestern city.

"Anheuser-Busch's decision to drop its support of Mulvaney in response to ignorant and hateful objections by some of its customers shows how little Anheuser-Busch cares about the LGBTQIA+ community, and in particular transgender people, who have been under unrelenting attack in this country," the statement said.

"Its CEO's statement, in which he all but erased transgender people in favor of anti-trans vitriol, was cruel and hurtful. CEO Brendan Whitworth's excuse that Anheuser-Busch 'never intended to be a part of a discussion that divides people' was tantamount to saying that the rights of transgender people are topics worthy of debate. They are not."

Another Chicago gay bar called Sidetrack also joined the boycott: “We must also hold brands accountable if they take active steps against LGBTQ+ equality, visibility and safety,” the bar posted.

Never mind the uproarious idea that the "safety" or "rights" of transgender people include the right to be a part of a promotional campaign. Anheuser-Busch isn't really disowning Mulvaney, which would be tantamount to longer-term brand suicide with the ESG crowd.

Instead, they've been distancing themselves from it; the latest attempt was Anheuser-Busch CEO Michel Doukeris' insistence during an earnings call on Thursday "that this was one can, one influencer, one post and not a campaign," according to Fox Business. Anything else, he said, was "misinformation."

He added that the company was "providing direct support" to sales representatives, delivery drivers, bar owners and others hurt by the boycott and planned to triple media spending on advertising for the brand.

Yes, media spending that brought damage control advertisements like this:

See? Look! Horseys! Horseys are 'Murican! So is country music! Do you like country music, Middle America? Here ya go!

So obvious was the pandering that comments had to be turned off on that last advertisement.

That's not making anyone forget the Mulvaney debacle, however -- and it's bringing in a new group that's found a reason to walk away from Bud Light, this time LGBT wokeistas. Which, in fairness, the brand deserves, as well.

I'm not going to even bother disassembling the mindless, fatuous claims that Anheuser-Busch InBev is endangering the "safety" or "rights" of the transgender community by distancing themselves from the whole silly Mulvaney campaign.

However, I suspect the gay community isn't inaccurate in gauging that the beer conglomerate's CEO holds them in just as much contempt as they did the "fratty" buyers of Bud Light that the Mulvaney campaign was meant to distance from the brand. They turned out to be thoroughly unhelpful to the company's image, so they're getting the cold shoulder, too. A transgender spokesman has been replaced with a deep-voiced narrator talking about America and freedom and stuff as a CGI Clydesdale glides past American landmarks.

Now, pretty much everyone who isn't employed at the company has a reason to loathe the brand. Conservative, liberal, independent, straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, blue-collar, activist: We can all come together and agree on two things. First, the corporate elites at Anheuser-Busch InBev have absolute contempt for us. Two, Bud Light is pretty mediocre anyway. We can all do without it, especially when the company seems to have admitted they think they can do without all of us.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Written by: C. Douglas Golden, The Western Journal



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