Have all the beers gone woke? An investigation.

“First, Bud Light sent a few beers to a transgender influencer in early April. Then, Miller Lite ran an ad celebrating female brewers and offering up a lighthearted mea culpa over all the beer ads over the years featuring women in bikinis. Actually, the Miller Lite thing happened before the Bud Light thing, back in March for Women’s History Month, but most people didn’t see the Miller Lite thing before now. So now some on the right are mad about both of these major beer brands over what they see as selling out and taking progressive positions in supporting trans people and women.

It’s not like beers are totally progressive now though, either. The customers these campaigns were aimed at might be upset to notice that Bud Light parent company Anheuser-Busch InBev hasn’t exactly stuck to its guns on Dylan Mulvaney, the trans influencer in question, and neither company’s political donations are super aligned with left-leaning causes.”

“In April, Bud Light sent trans influencer and activist Mulvaney some cans of beer and Mulvaney posted about it on social media, presumably as part of a pretty run-of-the-mill paid sponsorship deal. It sparked outrage on the right as part of the ongoing backlash toward trans rights and visibility, with some conservative beer-drinkers feeling like it represented a betrayal and calling for a boycott. Kid Rock shot some beers, Travis Tritt said he was axing the brand from his tour. Indeed, Bud Light sales have declined in the wake of the backlash, though as with any boycott, it’s hard to know how long the impact will last. (Vox has a full explainer on the Bud Light situation here.)

In May, apparently in search of another target, conservatives decided that Miller Lite was bad, too, and overly woke. People dug up an ad from March and are now mad about that. In said ad, actress and comedian Ilana Glazer talks about an initiative at the company — titled “Bad $#!T to Good $#!T” — to create fertilizer from old, sexist beer advertising (read: featuring scantily clad women). The fertilizer was supposed to be used to grow hops for female brewers.”

“This is emblematic of the broader controversy — a lot of people have lost the plot on what exactly happened with Bud Light, to the extent they ever knew it. Some consumers incorrectly believe the company undertook a broad-based marketing campaign with Mulvaney, that beer cans featuring her image are for sale to the public, or that AB InBev is marketing cans with pronouns on them in the US. None of those things are true. Anheuser-Busch CEO Michel Doukeris got at the issue in the company’s most recent earnings call, pointing out that “misinformation and confusion” still exists around what even happened. “We will need to continue to clarify the fact that this was one can, one influencer, one post, and not a campaign, and repeat this message for some time,” he said.”

“Bud Light didn’t send beer to Mulvaney because it wants to become a champion of trans rights, it did so because the brand is struggling and it thought LGBTQ consumers were a potential avenue for expansion. Miller Lite’s leaders aren’t lying in bed at night sick over all of those sexist ads over the years. They know women have money to spend, and they would like them to spend it on their beers.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *