It’s getting a little hard to imagine what the anti-LGBTQ+ right is going drink if it plans on boycotting every beer and booze company that has ever released a queer marketing campaign. The latest company to draw conservative ire? Southern stalwart Jack Daniel’s.
Recently, conservative pundit and Turning Point USA chief creative officer Benny Johnson discovered a 2021 Jack Daniel’s Pride campaign featuring RuPaul’s Drag Race alums Bebe Zahara Benet, Trinity the Tuck, and Manila Luzon.
“BREAKING,” Johnson tweeted of the two-year-old campaign, “@JackDaniels_US has gone full woke and put degenerate drag queens in their barrel house. Jack is sponsoring something called ‘Drag Queen Summer Camp.’”
A promotional reality web series released in 2021 found the three queens “adjusting to small town life, while preparing [Jack Daniel’s] 155-year-old facility’s very first Pride celebration,” according to a description on ad agency IW Group’s website.
“This is a *good* business move since Jack Daniels is only ordered by the mentally ill already,” Johnson tweeted on April 5.
Grammy-winning country musician Travis Tritt, who previously announced that he would no longer include Anheuser-Busch products on his tour riders after Bud Light partnered with trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney, later posted the same ad in Johnson’s tweet. “All the @JackDaniels_US drinkers should take note,” Tritt wrote.
Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) retweeted Tritt’s post the following day, and it didn’t take long for anti-LGBTQ+ social media users to start calling for another boycott.
“WTAF?” tweeted conservative activist Juanita Broaddrick. “First Bud Light and now Jack Daniels? Good grief!!! Everything woke turns to sh*t!!”
On his Daily Wire show, conservative commentator and House of Shades star Michael Knowles made an odd distinction between Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 whiskey and the brand’s cinnamon-flavored Jack Fire.
“100% of the people who drink Jack Fire are at least homosexuals. At least,” Knowles said. “They might be trans, they might be drag queens — it’s not a heterosexual beverage.”
The now-standard cries of “go woke, go broke” ensued.
One video of a particularly outraged Jack Daniel’s fan destroying his extensive collection of memorabilia has gone viral. New Jersey resident Pauly Michaelis describes himself in the video, posted last Friday on Facebook, as “the biggest advocate and supporter of Jack Daniels whiskey.”
“The company’s been making badass whiskey for 150 years,” Michaelis says in the clip. “Out of nowhere you went woke. So this is what I got for you guys.”
Michaelis proceeds to destroy Jack Daniel’s branded glasses, a mirror, a sign, and multiple bottles of whiskey, including two he describes as costing upwards of $100 each.
Twitter users were quick to ridicule Michaelis’s stunt, calling it a “temper tantrum” and him a “snowflake.”
“Another fragile redneck destroying his things because he got triggered by an advertising campaign,” one user tweeted.
“If you listen carefully, you can actually hear his brain cells dying,” another wrote. “Fragile little snowflake destroys hundreds of dollars of his own property because he does not approve of @JackDaniels_US’s ‘#woke’ advertising campaign.”
Others pointed out the irony of criticizing Jack Daniel’s for being “woke,” a term that has essentially become a racist dog whistle on the right, considering the company’s recipe, like all Tennessee whiskey, is based on a distilling process developed by Nearest Green, a formerly enslaved man who is considered the first known Black master distiller in history.
Notably, Jack Daniel’s is based in Lynchburg, Tennessee. The state recently became the first in the nation to pass a law intended to ban drag performances in public spaces.