Anheuser-Busch, the maker of Bud Light, defended its partnership with trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney as conservatives and anti-trans trolls called for a boycott of the company on social media.
On Sunday, Mulvaney announced the partnership in a video on her official Instagram page. Another video featured Mulvaney, who recently completed her “365 Days of Girlhood” series documenting the first year of her transition on TikTok, drinking Bud Light while camping it up in a bubble bath.
In the first video, Mulvaney revealed that Bud Light recently sent her a custom can featuring an image of her face to celebrate her “365 Days of Girlhood,” which culminated last month in a star-studded variety show at the Rainbow Room in New York.
Transphobes on social media proceeded to lose their minds, many calling for a boycott of Bud Light and other Anheuser-Busch beers.
But the beer company is standing by its partnership with Mulvaney. “Anheuser-Busch works with hundreds of influencers across our brands as one of many ways to authentically connect with audiences across various demographics and passion points,” a spokesperson told Fox News on Monday.
They also debunked the misconception that cans featuring the trans influencer’s face would be widely available in stores. “From time to time, we produce unique commemorative cans for fans and for brand influencers, like Dylan Mulvaney,” the spokesperson said. “This commemorative can was a gift to celebrate a personal milestone and is not for sale to the general public.”
Of course, Bud Light has been a presence at gay bars and Pride events for years. On Twitter, anti-LGBTQ+ trolls pushing for a boycott claimed that Anheuser-Busch didn’t understand its customers. But Max Dubler, a communications manager for Los Angeles-based affordable housing advocacy group Abundant Housing, responded to one tweet with a link to a 2020 academic paper examining the alliance between gay bars and labor unions during the 1977 Coors beer boycott.
“Bud Lite has been the default cheap beer at gay bars since 1977, when labor unions and LGBT groups organized a boycott of Coors to protest Coors’ practice of forcing employees to take polygraph tests that included questions about their sexual orientation,” Dubler tweeted.
Meanwhile, as The Daily Dot noted, at least one progressive on Twitter called out Anheuser-Busch for funding anti-LGBTQ+ organizations while marketing to the LGBTQ+ community. In 2021, New York’s iconic Stonewall Inn banned the company’s beers after it was revealed that Anheuser-Busch donated over $35,000 to anti-LGBTQ+ state-level politicians.