Popular beer brand Bud Light recently partnered with TikTok creator Dylan Mulvaney on a personalized beer can in honor of her hitting 365 days of girlhood. She recently celebrated the milestone by hosting a live-streamed benefit show in New York City. Ticket proceeds were donated to the Trevor Project, an organization that works to prevent suicide among LGBTQ+ youth. Mulvaney rose to viral fame on the platform for documenting her journey as a trans woman just over a year ago. The Bud Light ad was posted to Mulvaney’s Instagram account.
The ad is receiving mixed reactions across social media. Some feel that the brand’s choice was simply a random one that appeared to be an uneducated attempt at increasing their inclusive appeal. Others took to TikTok and Twitter to post about boycotting Bud Light and other Budweiser brand products over the ad. The boycott appears to come from a transphobic perspective, as several critics continue to misgender Mulvaney.
Among the critics of Bud Light is musician Kid Rock (@kidrock). Rock took to Twitter to post a video of himself wearing a signature Trump campaign hat branded with the infamous “MAGA” slogan, and shooting at Bud Light cans. At the end of the video, he curses out Bud Light’s parent company, Anheiser Busch. Viewers felt that the hat combined with the gun signified anti-trans sentiment towards Mulvaney.
— KidRock (@KidRock) April 4, 2023
Rock’s post is sparking thousands of reactions across the internet. One Twitter user pointed out that Anheiser-Busch has actually been producing LGBTQ+ pride campaigns since 1998.
Anheuser-Busch has been doing LGBT Pride based advertising since 1998. Literally been around as long as his entire career.
— ????Rani Timekey Baker, Noise Channel $400C-$400F (@destroyed4com4t) April 4, 2023
Another Twitter user pointed out that Bud-Light shed its all-American fraternity-esque image years ago, as they were since purchased by a Belgian conglomerate. This directly contradicts the message that it seems Kid Rock is trying to get across.
A once-popular musician shooting, and mostly missing, a bunch of beer cans – a beer company now owned by a Belgian conglomerate – to somehow express American outrage at something they can’t comprehend is pretty on brand.
— Jacob Langston (@jacoblangston) April 5, 2023
Fred Guttenberg, a gun control activist who lost his daughter Jaime to the Parkland shooting in 2018, called out Rock’s careless use of a gun on his massive social media platform.
Hey @KidRock, this dad is "feeling a little frisky today." Let me be "as clear and concise" as I can with you. This is my daughter Jaime (under the black oval) and these are the students running over her for safety to avoid getting shot by the AR 15 that killed her. FUCK YOU!!! https://t.co/Viv1Jzkuzu pic.twitter.com/OW9PDjETjW
— Fred Guttenberg (@fred_guttenberg) April 4, 2023
Writer Janel Comeau raises a different point. She posted her thoughts on Twitter (@VeryBadLlama) about how countless right-leaning media figures are quick to misgender trans people, but insist on being referred to by their stage names.
the people who whine and cry about being 'forced' to call trans people by something other than their birth name will turn around and refer to a 52-year-old man as "Kid Rock" with a straight face
— Janel Comeau (@VeryBadLlama) April 4, 2023
Others pointed out the fragility of Kid Rock’s public persona.
I love how Kid Rock acts like some working-class champion country bumpkin when he grew up in a 5600 square foot lakefront house with a stable with horses lmao. https://t.co/ZRc7OroEnH
— B.W. Carlin (@BaileyCarlin) April 5, 2023
Meanwhile, on TikTok, users are mostly supportive of Mulvaney’s advertisement. Comedian Sunny Laprade (@sunnylcomedy), who is trans herself, joked that the brand should’ve used a trans lesbian as their new spokesperson instead, as the beverage is a big part of the social scene associated with this demographic.
Fans of Mulvaney are being supportive of her ad in the comments, but a tad confused. Mulvaney often speaks of her hyper-feminine style and old Hollywood inspirations, and the aesthetic of the brand does not quite match up with her usual partnerships. A user named Rat Baby (@ratbabyyyy) commented “I think of Dylan as a classy sangria girlie definitely not a bud light girlie.”
On the other end of the spectrum, some cisgender women spread hateful rhetoric about the trans community over the ad. Candace Renee Carter (@danslady88), a conservative TikTok influencer, continued to argue that Mulvaney is not “a real woman.” This ideology is referred to as TERF, which stands for Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminism.
Bud Light is yet to respond to the criticism of their inclusive advertising.