Backlash after Bud Light uses trans woman Dylan Mulvaney to promote beer as influencer says she's 'thriving'

12 April 2023, 09:21

Dylan Mulvaney being used to sell Bud Light has sparked outrage among some US conservatives
Dylan Mulvaney being used to sell Bud Light has sparked outrage among some US conservatives. Picture: Instagram

By Kit Heren

A transgender influencer has claimed she is "thriving" after a backlash against a beer brand that used her to promote its drinks.

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Dylan Mulvaney hit back after critics said they were outraged by beer behemoth Anheuser-Busch using her to sell Bud Light, with sales reportedly dropping over the Easter weekend.

Ms Mulvaney, 26, said that "life's good", and suggested she expected the outrage to blow over soon, in a brief exchange with a photographer.

It comes just days after she was caught up in a separate backlash against Nike for featuring her in a campaign to sell sports bras - despite her being biologically male.

The Bud Light campaign, which saw Ms Mulvaney post images of customised beer cans with her face on, as well as her drinking in the bath, was branded tone deaf by critics.

Musician Kid Rock filmed himself shooting cases of the beer with a machine gun and shouting: “F*** Bud Light! And f*** Anheuser-Busch!"

Tucker Carlson, one of America’s conservative TV anchors, said: “Bud Light fails over this. I don’t want to root for bankruptcy, but in this case, I think we have to hope for that."

Country music star Travis Tritt also said he would be boycotting Bud Light and other Anheuser-Busch drinks on his tour.

Beer sales appeared to drop in rural areas of midwestern and southern America, a big market for Bud Light, according to Beer Business Daily.

Kid Rock shooting at the beer
Kid Rock shooting at the beer. Picture: Instagram

“This is probably the biggest controversy we’ve seen in a long time,” Harry Schuhmacher, the outlet's publisher, told Fox News.

“It could be a tempest in a teapot, could be temporary, but it’s enough that distributors have rung the bell.”

Anheuser-Busch said that they were trying to change the image of Bud Light and make it more attractive to younger people.

Alissa Gordon Heinerscheid, the head of marketing for Bud Light, said: "I’m a businesswoman. I had a really clear job to do when I took over Bud Light, and it was this brand is in decline. It’s been in decline for a really long time. And if we do not attract young drinkers to come and drink this brand, there will be no future for Bud Light. 

"So I had this super clear mandate. It’s like we need to evolve and elevate this incredibly iconic brand."

Read more: Caitlyn Jenner wades into Nike trans row, slamming 'woke' brand for using trans woman Dylan Mulvaney to sell sports bras

Read more: Trans woman can't understand why women are 'offended' by Nike's new advert

She added: "What does evolve and elevate mean? It means inclusivity. It means shifting the tone. It means having a campaign that’s truly inclusive and feels lighter and brighter and different. And appeals to women and to men."

It comes under Nike was criticised for featuring Ms Mulvaney in a sports bra and leggings campaign. Others backed the sportswear brand for being "inclusive".

Caitlyn Jenner, 76, a trans woman reality star and former Olympic champion, slammed Nike for the decision to use Ms Mulvaney.

She said: "As someone that grew up in awe of what [Nike co-founder] Phil Knight did, it is a shame to see such an iconic American company go so woke!

Trans woman who can't understand why others are 'offended' by Nike's new advert

"We can be inclusive but not at the expense of the mass majority of people, and have some decency while being inclusive. This is an outrage."

Ms Jenner added on Twitter that she didn't blame Ms Mulvaney for doing the deal herself. She said: "A little context…I did a collab with H&M (I have done many athletic brand collabs over the years as a successful athlete). I don’t blame Dylan (smart move)."

Nike said: "You are an essential component to the success of your community. We welcome comments that contribute to a positive and constructive discussion.

"Be kind. Be inclusive. Encourage each other. Hate speech, bullying, or other behaviors that are not in the spirit of a diverse and inclusive community will be deleted."