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A leftist pro-LGBT organization is trying to pressure Anheuser-Busch, the maker of Bud Light, to come out publicly and announce its support for controversial transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney.
The Hill reported that the Human Rights Campaign sent a letter to Anheuser-Busch last week that criticized the company’s response to the significant backlash that it has faced across the country over its paid marketing engagement with Mulvaney.
“In this moment, it is absolutely critical for Anheuser-Busch to stand in solidarity with Dylan and the trans community,” the letter states. “However, when faced with anti-LGBTQ+ and transphobic criticism, Anheuser-Busch’s actions demonstrate a profound lack of fortitude in upholding its values of diversity, equity, and inclusion to employees, customers, shareholders and the LGBTQ+ community.”
“This not only lends credence to hate-filled rhetoric, it exposes Anheuser-Busch to long-term business impacts with employees and customers increasingly looking for steadfast commitment to LGBTQ+ corporate citizenships,” the letter said.
The organization is preparing to punish Anheuser-Busch by lowering its “long-standing 100 percent Corporate Equality Index score” because of how it has responded to the controversy, the report said.
The letter said that the Human Rights Campaign wants the company to release a statement “reaffirming its full support for its transgender customers, shareholders, and employees.”
The company has declined meeting with the organization, the report said.
The controversy surrounding Anheuser-Busch was worsened after CEO Brendan Whitworth issued a statement on April 14 that did not make mention of Mulvaney, transgenderism — or offer an apology to offended customers.
“We never intended to be part of a discussion that divides people,” Whitworth said in the statement. “We are in the business of bringing people together over a beer.”
BeerBoard, a tech company that provides data to the beverage industry, said this week that Bud Light has seen a significant decline in pours at restaurants and bars across the U.S. following the controversy.
The company has since placed two of its executives on leave, including Daniel Blake, who is in charge of marketing for Anheuser-Busch’s mainstream brands, and Bud Light Vice President of Marketing Alissa Heinerscheid.