Insiders at Anheuser-Busch have reported that “no one at the senior level” was aware of Bud Light’s partnership with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney ahead of time, and the decision was not approved by senior executives.
The controversy, which led to a boycott from conservative and rural Americans, began when Mulvaney posted on Instagram that he had been given “the best gift ever” by Bud Light — a can of beer with his face on it.
Critics were furious over the decision, pointing out that the brand was essentially promoting their beer to children, as Mulvaney’s audience is largely made up of minors, and expressed anger that Bud Light was endorsing transgenderism and “woman-face” — especially because Mulvaney advocates for gender transition for minors.
Now, the Daily Wire reports that two sources close to the situation have revealed that the decision to partner with Mulvaney was a “mistake.”
“No one at a senior level was aware this was happening,” one source told the outlet. “Some low-level marketing staffer who helps manage the hundreds of influencer engagements they do must have thought it was no big deal. Obviously, it was, and it’s a shame because they have a well-earned reputation for just being America’s beer — not a political company. It was a mistake.”
A second source confirmed that a lower-level employee was responsible for the decision to have Mulvaney promote Bud Light.
Rogan O’Handley, better known as the popular conservative influencer DC Draino, made similar assertions earlier this month — posting on Twitter that an Anheuser-Busch insider had told him that senior executives were unaware of Bud Light’s paid partnership with the transgender influencer and were “angry” that the company released a can with Mulvaney’s face on it.
Scoop: Anheuser Busch insider tells me execs are angry at release of Dylan Mulvaney can
It wasn’t posted on any AB/BL social medias & the leading theory is that a Leftist manager secretly did it on their own to push trans agenda
New PR statement expected
— DC_Draino (@DC_Draino) April 4, 2023
Meanwhile, data from OpenSecrets shows that Anheuser-Busch employees donate more money to Republican candidates than Democrats — while the company itself has donated to both parties, though they gave more to Republicans in 2022.
Former Newsmax host John Cardillo pointed this out in a tweet on April 6.
“As I’ve been digging into this, I’m finding this to be 100% true. @AnheuserBusch has donated far more to GOP candidates than Dems, and FAR more than woke @MolsonCoors. Looks like the Dylan Mulvaney campaign was not approved by senior execs. Heads should roll,” he wrote.
As I’ve been digging into this, I’m finding this to be 100% true@AnheuserBusch has donated far more to GOP candidates than Dems, and FAR more than woke @MolsonCoors.
Looks like the Dylan Mulvaney campaign was not approved by senior execs.
Heads should roll. https://t.co/e301ZF2vDU
— John Cardillo (@johncardillo) April 6, 2023
Anheuser-Busch CEO Brendan Whitworth released a statement on Friday that appeared to be an attempt to address the controversy, though critics say it was “manipulative” and “absurd.”
The closest the statement came to addressing the backlash was two sentences out of several paragraphs: “We never intended to be part of a discussion that divides people. We are in the business of bringing people together over a beer.”