(Image via adweek.com)
Staff Writer: Sakara De Gil-Balija
Mid-April, Budweiser factories nationwide received multiple bomb threats following the company’s partnership with Dylan Mulvaney, a 26-year-old transgender woman.
The partnership was in celebration of the influencer’s 365-day anniversary of her transition.
According to Daily Mail, “The LAPD announced that officers responded to a Thursday call at around 9 AM local time regarding the brewer’s facility in the Van Nuys section of Los Angeles. A bomb squad unit was also dispatched.”
The LAPD Lieutenant, Leticia Ruiz, said, “There was a search that was conducted in the premise of the building but there was nothing identified as a threat.”
As a celebration of her milestone, Bud Light created beer cans with Mulvaney’s face on them, which deeply upset people. The factory received threats and contacted police for help.
The only statement from the company was a simple confirmation that the personalized cans were only a gift to Mulvaney and were not for public sale.
The cans were sent to Mulvaney on Saturday, April 1st, 2023, and no cans with Mulvaney’s face were sold in stores.
On Friday, the company broke its silence.
Brendan Whitworth, the CEO of the Anheuser-Busch company (the parent company of Budweiser and Bud Light), said, “We never intended to be part of a discussion that divides people. We are in the business of bringing people together over a beer.” He continued, “Moving forward, I will continue to work tirelessly to bring great beers to consumers across our nation.”
Many people are outraged that Whitworth’s statement does not offer any support to Mulvaney or other members of the LGBTQIA+ community. The CEO’s statement has been frowned upon for “saying nothing” and “meaning nothing.”
According to Pink News, “This could have been an opportunity for the brand to come out strongly for LGBTQ+ rights and stand with marginalized people just trying to live their lives in the face of hatred and bigotry.”
“Social media users have flooded Twitter with transphobic hate and promised to boycott the brand for ‘going woke’ – which, in this case, means giving a trans influencer a free personalized beer can.”
Bomb threats followed a series of tweets and videos of people pouring the beers down their sink drains.
The outrage that a meaningful and supportive gift has sparked is terrible.
The celebration of Mulvaney’s success should not have started anti-trans behavior from celebrities and social media users alike.
Whitman should offer a statement defending Dylan Mulvaney and condemning the anti-trans and homophobic air surrounding the company at this time due to the controversy.