Trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney has spoken out for the first time in the aftermath of her controversial campaign with Bud Light that saw the parent company Anheuser-Busch lose millions in market value for March Madness. Mulvananey on Thursday took to Instagram to slam the beer brand for not supporting her amid the fallout from their disastrous campaign.
The 26-year-old influencer blasted Bud Light for giving "customers permission to be as transphobic and as hateful as they want" by abandoning her following backlash over the disastrous tie-up. The Belgian beer giant has faced a significant financial setback, losing $20 billion amid calls to boycott its leading brand.
Mulvaney Criticizes Bud Light
The social media influencer, after a period of silence, shared an emotional video on Instagram addressed to her 1.8 million followers. Tearfully, she disclosed that she had endured public ridicule and experienced an intense feeling of loneliness that she wouldn't want anyone else to experience. The video has since gone viral.
"'I was waiting for the brand to reach out to me, but they never did. I've been scared to leave my house," Mulvaney, 26, said in the clip.
"For a company to hire a trans person and then not publicly stand by them is worse than not hiring a trans person at all.
"Because it gives customers permission to be as transphobic and as hateful as they want. There's should be nothing controversial or divisive about working with us.
"I have been ridiculed in public I've been followed and I have felt a loneliness that I wouldn't wish on anyone."
This is the first time Mulvaney has publicly spoken about Bud Light, stating that she genuinely loved the company, in the new post.
In the video, she emphasized that transgender and queer individuals are also customers, and it is imperative not to ignore their needs and concerns. She asserted that ignoring these issues is not a viable option.
Mulvaney had initially chosen not to address her critics, believing that acknowledging them would provide them with a sense of "satisfaction."
However, she has now decided to share the impact the backlash had on her. The significant consequence of the backlash was a staggering 28.5% decline in Bud Light's beer sales.
Lost Her Can
The influencer confessed that she hid the can that led to Kid Rock shooting at several cases of the beer. However, she revealed that she is currently unable to find the can. "I realized that I needed to protect this can so I hid it somewhere and I can't find it because I hid it so well," Mulvaney said.
"But when I do find it, I feel like it needs to go in a museum, preferably behind bullet-proof glass.
"One thing I will not tolerate people saying about me is that I don't like beer because I love beer and I always have."
She also clarified that Bud Light had approached her for the sponsored video, contradicting the company's statement that it was an external agency acting on their behalf.
Mulvaney's video comes just a day after Anheuser-Busch CEO Brendan Whitworth declined to comment on whether the company would collaborate with Mulvaney in the future. The beer company has suffered a $20 billion loss due to calls for a boycott of its flagship brand.
Anheuser-Busch, the parent company of Bud Light, has earlier tried to distance itself from the Mulvaney posts, which sparked a significant backlash affecting not only Bud Light but also its sister brands like Budweiser and Michelob Ultra.
Bud Light sales suffered its steepest decline since the controversy began, with sales for the week ending June 20 down 28.5% compared to the previous year.
Initially, the company did not disassociate itself from its partnership with Mulvaney and explained that it was one of several promotional partnerships aimed at "authentically connecting with audiences across various demographics and passion points."
Anheuser-Busch's extensive workforce of 65,000 employees and distributors has found themselves on the front lines of the backlash. They have been ridiculed, faced threats, and disrespectful behavior, including being subjected to honking car horns and verbal abuse.
Moreover, the declining sales of the brewery's brands have also had a direct impact on their income, exacerbating the challenges they face.