Bud Light has hit back at transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney after she slammed the struggling beer brand for ‘failing to reach out to her’ amid the backlash of their campaign.
Mulvaney, 26, yesterday broke her silence on the debacle – which has seen Anheuser-Busch lose $20million in market cap value since the advert for March Madness.
Speaking to her 1.8million followers earlier Thursday, Mulvaney said: ‘I was waiting for the brand to reach out to me, but they never did. I’ve been scared to leave my house.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.’
But after she went public with her criticism, Anheuser-Busch hit back in a statement to say they are ‘committed committed to the programs and partnerships’ they have forged with the LGBTQ+ community.
The company didn’t name Mulvaney directly, but their comments came immediately after she hit out at them for not being supportive of her and the trans community.
In the statement, they said: ‘The privacy and safety of our employees and our partners is always our top priority.
‘As we move forward, we will focus on what we do best – brewing great beer for everyone and earning our place in moments that matter to our consumers.’
Their statement comes just days after CEO Brendan Whitworth was slammed for refusing to rule out if the company would partner with Mulvaney again – and avoided answering how much the marketing blunder had cost Bud Light.
Speaking to CBS Mornings, Whitworth was asked if he would send Mulvaney another can, knowing the backlash that it sparked.
But instead of giving a definitive answer, the CEO instead launched into a pre-rehearsed speech about the ‘social conversation’ that the disaster campaign caused
Whitworth added that they ‘need to deeply understand the consumer’ and ‘appreciate’ what they want’ from the brand, as he was blasted on social media for doing a ‘dismal job’.
He was then challenged over his refusal to answer, with Tony Dokoupil asking if the decision was a mistake – but again avoided the question. It is the first time that Mulvaney has publicly spoken about Bud Light, calling them a company that she ‘loved’ in the new post.
During the video she said that trans and queer people are ‘customers too’, before adding that ‘turning a blind eye’ isn’t an option.
She previously said she didn’t want to give her critics the ‘satisfaction’ of talking about them, but has now opened up about how the backlash affected her – as sales for the beer dropped a staggering 28.5 percent.
The influencer admitted to hiding the can – which sparked Kid Rock to shoot at several cases of the beer – and is no longer able find it.
Mulvaney said: ‘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.
‘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 explained that Bud Light approached her for the sponsored video, which is something that the company denied, claiming it was an external agency on their behalf.
Whitworth’s mention of employees comes two days after Anheuser-Busch denied that they had fired two of the marketing executives behind the debacle involving Mulvaney.
The Daily Caller reported on Tuesday that the beer giant officially fired Group Vice President of Marketing Daniel Blake and Bud Light Marketing Vice President Alissa Heinerscheid, citing text messages with an unknown regional marketing leader at the company.
In a statement to DailyMail.com, a spokesperson for Anheuser-Busch said they were still both on a ‘leave of absence.’
Mulvaney had harsh words for what she felt was an abandonment from the brewer in her recent post.
‘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.’