Okay. Now I really need a drink.
Some Chicago gay bars in Boystown (aka North Halstead) have stopped selling Anheuser Busch InBev products sating that the LGBT-friendly beer giant distanced itself from transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney’s Bud Light marketing campaign amid the anti-trans backlash. While Anheuser claims it was never a campaign.
Four gay bars from Uptown to Rogers Park, were the first to drop Anheuser-Busch by the 2Bears Tavern Group which owns them . Posted on Instagram Thursday the group states that its abandonment of Mulvaney amid controversy “shows how little Anheuser-Busch cares about the LGBTQIA+ community, and in particular transgender people, who have been under unrelenting attack in this country.”
Chicago’s historic Sidetracks bar founded by gay rights activist Art Johnston and Jose Pepé Peña, later made the same announcement.
“We must also hold brands accountable if they take active steps against LGBTQ+ equality, visibility and safety,” Sidetrack posted.
Anheuser-Busch CEO Michel Doukeris addressed the controversy during an earnings call with investors Thursday stating this was never a campaign but a special gift to Mulavey since the actual cans are not for sale blaming social media for running with the wrong story.
“We need to clarify the facts that this was one can, one influencer, one post and not a campaign,” Doukeris said.
The CEO also posted a statement in April saying the brand “never intended to be part of a discussion that divides people.”