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Transgender activist and influencer Dylan Mulvaney received an award over the weekend and appeared to reference the Bud Light controversy during the acceptance speech.
The TikTok star won Breakout Creator at the 2023 Streamy Awards, which are said to be “the foremost recognition within the creator community.”
“My life has been changed for the better,” Mulvaney said during the Sunday night speech. “But also there’s been an extreme amount of transphobia and hate, and I know that my community is feeling it, and I know that even our allies are feeling it.”
The 26-year-old influencer thanked “allies that have platforms” for their support and implored them to do more.
“You need to support trans people publicly and proudly,” Mulvaney insisted, per The New York Post.
“I think the trans community and the creator community actually have something in common. It’s that people often underestimate us,” Mulvaney went on before jokingly concluding with, “I’m gonna go have a beer and… I love ya.”
The beer reference was likely about Mulvaney’s brand partnership with Bud Light, which inspired effective boycotts.
It came from the company sending Mulvaney a custom Bud Light can, which inspired the influencer to create video ads touting the beer brand. Critics saw this move as Bud Light openly advocating for the trans agenda.
Anheuser-Busch InBev sales have plummeted since the partnership with Mulvaney first went public in April. Marketing executives for the company were placed on leave shortly after the Mulvaney partnership, and AB InBev and laid off 380 employees “across every corporate function” after Bud Light’s U.S. sales plummeted 26.5% in July, as The Daily Wire reported.
Anheuser-Busch Chief Executive Brendan Whitworth addressed the reactions in June but did not outright say he regretted the partnership with Mulvaney.
“There’s a big social conversation taking place right now and big brands are right in the middle of it,” he said when asked about the controversy and boycotts. “And it’s not just our industry or Bud Light. It’s happening in retail, it’s happening in fast food. And so, for us, what we need to understand is — deeply understand and appreciate — is the consumer, and what they want, what they care about, and what they expect from big brands.”
“Bud Light has supported LGBTQ since 1998, so that’s 25 years,” he said. “And as we’ve said from the beginning, we’ll continue to support the communities and organizations that we’ve supported for decades.”
He went on to indicate that the brand would stay out of charged social issues in the future.
“As we move forward, we want to focus on what we do best, which is brewing great beer for everyone, listening to our consumers, being humble in listening to them, making sure we do right by our employees, take care and support our partners, and ultimately make an impact in the communities that we serve,” he noted.