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Anheuser-Busch CEO says Bud Light partnership with trans influencer wasn’t meant to divide

“We are in the business of bringing people together,” chief executive Brendan Whitworth said Friday.
/ Source: NBC News

Anheuser-Busch’s chief executive on Friday responded to the backlash against Bud Light’s partnership with trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney, saying its intention wasn’t to divide Americans.

“We never intended to be part of a discussion that divides people,” CEO Brendan Whitworth said in a statement. “We are in the business of bringing people together over a beer.”

The company had sponsored a post on Mulvaney’s Instagram account that promoted Bud Light’s March Madness contest.

“Just found out this had to do with sports and not just saying it’s a crazy month!” the 26-year-old TikTok star wrote as part of the post.

Some responded with anger, condemning the beer maker for sponsoring the trans woman.

Videos were posted online showing consumers dumping cans and bottles of Bud Light in trash bins and down sinks. Some recorded themselves destroying cans of the beer. 

Whitworth said his company’s products are intended as a social binder, not a wedge.

“We have thousands of partners, millions of fans and a proud history of supporting our communities,” he said.

“My time serving this country taught me the importance of accountability and the values upon which America was founded: freedom, hard work and respect for one another,” he said in the statement.

Whitworth, who said that he is responsible for ensuring that “every consumer feels proud of the beer we brew,” did not explicitly address the partnership in Friday’s statement.

“Moving forward, I will continue to bring great beers to consumers across our nation,” he said.

A spokesperson for the company had previously said that “Anheuser-Busch works with hundreds of influencers across our brands as one of many ways to authentically connect with audiences across various demographics.”

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