Anheuser-Busch Partnership with Transgender Influencer and Limited-Edition Pride-Themed Bud Light Cans Sparks Controversy
Anheuser-Busch has faced a wave of transphobic commentary on social media following its recent partnership with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney and the release of limited-edition Pride-themed Bud Light cans featuring various pronouns in Canada.
Mulvaney, known for her popular TikTok series documenting her gender transition, posted a sponsored Instagram reel on Saturday, promoting Bud Light during the NCAA’s March Madness tournament. She mentioned that the brand had also sent her a special can with her face on it to celebrate the year anniversary of documenting her transition.
The partnership and the limited rollout of Pride-themed cans sparked a backlash from conservative social media personalities, who criticized the company for promoting “woke” advertising. Country musician Kid Rock even claimed to be boycotting the brand, posting a video of him wearing a “MAGA” hat while shooting at packs of Bud Light.
However, a satirical website’s post claiming that Anheuser-Busch had fired its entire marketing team responsible for the moves was spread as real by some social media users, leading to false information circulating on the internet.
Anheuser-Busch confirmed that the company had not fired its marketing team in response to the Mulvaney sponsorship, stating that it works with hundreds of influencers across its brands to connect with audiences of various demographics.
The one-off commemorative can sent to Mulvaney with her face on it is not available for wider release, and the limited-edition Pride-themed Bud Light cans released in Canada in 2022 are not connected to the brand’s partnership with Mulvaney.
The company’s promotion of LGBTQ+ inclusivity and support for Pride Month in Canada is not a new initiative, as it has been a proud partner of Pride for over 20 years. Anheuser-Busch provided a total of $100,000 to various organizations supporting Canadian LGBTQ+ groups and released limited-edition pronoun-inspired Pride cans in Canada in May 2022.
Anheuser-Busch’s partnership with Mulvaney and its promotion of Pride-themed Bud Light cans demonstrates the company’s commitment to promoting inclusivity and supporting the LGBTQ+ community, but it has also highlighted the transphobic rhetoric that still exists online.