The attempt by Bud Light’s parent company, Anheuser-Busch, to distance itself from transgender social media influencer Dylan Mulvaney puts the iconic American beer brand at risk of going “extinct,” according to an LGBTQ activist.
Stacey Lentz, co-owner of New York City’s historic gay and lesbian landmark Stonewall Inn, told Newsweek that Bud Light “missed an opportunity to stand by their commitment to the trans community by pandering to and giving in to transphobic outcries.”
Anheuser-Busch CEO Michel Doukeris told investors on an earnings call Thursday that the company was disavowing ties to Mulvaney.
“We need to clarify the facts that this was one can, one influencer, one post and not a campaign,” Michel Doukeris told investors during the call.
Doukeris was attempting damage control after calls for a boycott of Bud Light grew in the wake of its partnership with Mulvaney.
But Lentz and other LGBTQ activists think the company failed to stand behind the transgender influencer and stick up for the community.
“As far as marketing, I hope and think they realized that as a brand they will be extinct in a few years if they are not fully on the side of equality, as that is what the Gen Z consumer expects and demands,” Lentz told Newsweek.
She said she sympathized with Mulvaney “as this whole thing was not handled well and she was caught in the middle of a horrible firestorm.”
Last month, John Casey, senior editor of the LGBTQ magazine Advocate, published an op-ed calling for a boycott of Bud Light for “validating trans hate.”