Bud Light partnership with trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney prompts backlash

Bud Light has come under fire from right-wing social media users after the brand partnered with transgender TikTok influencer Dylan Mulvaney to promote a March Madness contest. Instagram/ @dylanmulvaney and Twitter / @SebGorka

There’s a rallying cry among right-wing, anti-transgender voices online: destroy your already-purchased Bud Light beer.

A brand deal between Bud Light and transgender social media influencer Dylan Mulvaney has triggered loud anti-trans backlash online. The deal, which saw Mulvaney’s face printed on a single signature Blue can, has sounded numerous calls for LGBTQ2 opposition to destroy their beer stockpiles and potentially boycott the brand entirely.

Mulvaney, who has 10.8 million followers on TikTok, shared the Bud Light-sponsored post to Instagram on Saturday. In the video, Mulvaney, 26, promoted the company’s March Madness contest.

Dressed as Audrey Hepburn from Breakfast at Tiffany’s, she revealed the can with her face on it. Mulvaney joked that she, a theatre performer and fashion influencer, did not know March Madness “has something to do with sports.”

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Mulvaney is best known for her “Days of Girlhood” series of videos on TikTok, in which she has documented her gender transition. In March, Mulvaney celebrated her 365th day of girlhood with a Broadway-produced, live-streamed cabaret.

Mulvaney described the Bud Light can with her face on it as “the best gift ever.”

Vocal opposition to Mulvaney’s brand partnership has grown online in the days since she posted the ad.

Musician Kid Rock is among the most notable to criticize Bud Light. In video posted to social media, Kid Rock, whose real name is Robert James Ritchie, criticized the beer brand.

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While wearing a white MAGA ballcap, Ritchie repeatedly fired an assault rifle at three cases of Bud Light. As beer bled from the bulleted blue boxes, he flipped off the camera and said, “F— Bud Light and f— Anheuser-Busch. Have a terrific day.”

A spokesperson for Anheuser-Busch, the company that makes Bud Light, provided comment to Rolling Stone last week.

“Anheuser-Busch works with hundreds of influencers across our brands as one of many ways to authentically connect with audiences across various demographics,” the statement reads. “From time to time we produce unique commemorative cans for fans and for brand influencers, like Dylan Mulvaney. This commemorative can was a gift to celebrate a personal milestone and is not for sale to the general public.”

Videos of right-wing figures and social media users using Bud Light as a symbol to condemn trans rights are being shared online.

Sebastian Gorka, a former deputy assistant to former president Donald Trump, made a video of his own in which he is seen throwing a full case of Bud Light bottles into the trash.

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Candace Owens, a conservative political commentator, slammed Mulvaney’s ad as being “woman-face,” a play on Blackface, which sees non-Black people paint their skin.

Owens said Mulvaney’s March Madness joke promotes the stereotype of women as dumb.

Others have publicly trashed their Bud Light supply in a dramatic show of opposition. Some have even restocked their personal inventory with Coors Light instead.


Out with the budlight. Will #Coorslight be next?

♬ Aesthetic – Tollan Kim

Many LGBTQ2 activists online have enjoyed poking fun at the boycott promises by pointing out other popular brands that also engage in “rainbow capitalism,” the marketing surge of brands supporting LGBTQ2 causes around Pride Month in June. Coors was the first brewer to introduce a non-discrimination policy on sexual orientation in 1975. The brand is also a notable sponsor of several Pride events each year.

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we love an inclusive queen💁🏼‍♀️ #budlight #coorslight #dylanmulvaney #greenscreen #greenscreenvideo #ford

♬ original sound – Courtney Craven

Mulvaney, who scarcely comments on public backlash, has not responded to the calls for Bud Light to be cancelled. In fact, Mulvaney is doing just fine — she became a Nike partner on Wednesday and shared a sponsored post for the brand’s women’s workout wear.

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