After trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney posted a sponsored collaboration with Bud Light to her TikTok account, right-wing media immediately responded with relentless anti-trans vitriol against Mulvaney and calls for boycotting the beer company.
Mulvaney, a comedian and internet personality, has been sharing her gender transition through daily videos on her TikTok account as a part of her “Days of Girlhood” series. To celebrate her 365th day of posting, Bud Light sent Mulvaney a special edition can with her face on it. Shortly after, Mulvaney announced a collaboration with the beer company on her Instagram account through a March Madness campaign, which was quickly met with anti-trans backlash from conservatives, including singer and Trump supporter Kid Rock.
Bud Light’s parent company, Anheuser-Busch, defended its decision to partner with Mulvaney in a statement to the Los Angeles Times, stating that it was “one of many ways to authentically connect with audiences across various demographics.” As outlined by Henry Giardina for Into, Bud Light has historically demonstrated support for the LGBTQ community, including via a partnership with GLAAD for Pride in 2019. Nevertheless, right-wing media have decried the partnership as a “virtue signal” and baselessly claimed that this move is not what Bud Light’s customer base wants.
In recent years, right-wing media’s vilification of trans individuals as public enemies has led to a trans panic and harassment against trans people for merely existing and engaging in common, day-to-day life events. There’s also been an unprecedented attack on their rights, including access to health care, with hundreds of bills currently moving through state legislatures to strip these rights away. Right-wing media, who have targeted Mulvaney for her success before, are now amplifying their attacks against her.
Right-wing media’s anti-trans attacks against Mulvaney and calls to boycott Bud Light
- On the April 3 edition of Fox News’ Jesse Watters Primetime, host Jesse Watters mocked Mulvaney’s gender identity by saying, “We thought this was an April Fool's joke, but we were wrong. America's favorite transgender is now Bud Light’s pitchman. Or pitch person.”
- During Fox News’ April 3 edition of The Ingraham Angle, Fox contributor Raymond Arroyo undermined Mulvaney’s impact as positive trans representation by saying, “I suppose female impersonation for an extended period is a milestone. How about a soldier who completes a tour of duty or a mother who births a child? Do they get a commemorative can? I don’t think so.” Guest host Pete Hegseth responded, “This is not a business decision, Raymond. This is a virtue signal.”
- On the April 3 edition of OutKick’s Outkick the Show, host Clay Travis pushed hateful rhetoric against Mulvaney while misgendering her, stating, “Bud Light came out and said that they wanted to endorse this fake woman as a spokesperson for their brand. And this chick ... basically has become really popular on social media for being a woman, even though it's a dude pretending to be a woman.”
- On Premiere Network’s April 3 edition of The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show, Travis also speculated, “I think it's because Bud Light, like every company, is taken over by the diversity, equity, inclusion, the DEI people, and even people who recognize how absurd it is to be spending advertising dollars on a trans spokesperson are afraid to say it publicly inside of the company.” Travis later argued, “I think the vast majority of people who work at Bud Light would be like, ‘This is stupid. This is the antithesis of our product.’"
- The Daily Wire’s Ben Shapiro echoed similar anti-trans sentiment on the April 4 edition of The Ben Shapiro Show, saying Mulvaney “pretends to be a little girl and dresses up as Audrey Hepburn.” Shapiro later claimed that Bud Light was out of touch with its customers, arguing that “if you think that the average Bud Light customer — in other words, 95% male and almost 100% non-trans — if you think they’re desperately clamoring for Dylan Mulvaney as a spokesperson or brand influencer, you’re out of your mind.”
- On the April 3 edition of her Youtube show, The Liz Wheeler Show, host Liz Wheeler asserted that while she’s “never been a huge fan of corporate boycotts,” the Bud Light sponsorship has “crossed the line for me and I think we should, in fact, boycott this.” Wheeler purposefully misgendered Mulvaney repeatedly and stated, “This is just beyond the pale to me — beyond the pale to me. They are honoring — Budweiser, Bud Light, is honoring Dylan Mulvaney as if Dylan Mulvaney is a woman.”
- BlazeTv’s The Steve Deace Show producer Aaron McIntire attacked Mulvaney on the April 3 episode, calling her “mentally ill” and saying Budweiser “desecrated” its beer packaging with her image.
- Notorious right-wing commentator Ian Miles Cheong tweeted on April 4, “PinkNews says I’m a bigot for calling out Bud Light and it’s promoting of Dylan Mulvaney. Yes? And?”
- On April 2, Daily Wire host Michael Knowles tweeted, “I really lucked out on the whole Bud Light/Dylan Mulvaney controversy, as I don't particularly care for BL anyway, and my personal favorite canned alcohol, White Claw, is already gay enough that it has no need to prove its LGBT bona fides by sponsoring a transvestite.”
- Daily Wire host Matt Walsh chastised Fox News on April 6 for “respecting” Mulvaney’s “preferred pronouns,” stating that in doing so, the “most powerful ‘conservative’ media outlet" is "cooperating with and promoting radical far left gender ideology.”