Anheuser-Busch, the global beer giant, has suffered a significant loss in value, plummeting over $5 billion, following the announcement of its branding partnership with controversial transgender social media influencer, Dylan Mulvaney.
Since March 31, shares of Bud Light’s parent company have fallen by nearly 4%, resulting in a decrease in the company’s market capitalization from $132.38 billion to $127.13 billion as of Wednesday. Anheuser-Busch stock also experienced a decline of more than 1.5% on the same day.
The backlash against the partnership with Mulvaney, a 26-year-old transgender influencer with over 10 million followers on social media, has been swift and fierce, particularly from conservatives.
Mulvaney responded to the criticism on the “Onward with Rosie O’Donnell” podcast, accusing her trolls of bullying her because she is an “easy target.”
“The reason that I think I am so…I’m an easy target is because I’m so new to this,” Mulvaney said. “I think going after a trans woman that’s been doing this for like 20 years is a lot more difficult. I think maybe they think that there’s some sort of chance with me…But what is their goal? These people, they don’t understand me and anything that I do or say then somehow gets taken out of context and is used against me and it’s so sad because everything I try to put out is positive. It’s trying to connect with others that maybe don’t understand me. It’s to make people laugh or to make a kid feel seen.”
Mulvaney had previously posted videos and photos on social media promoting her sponsorship deal with Bud Light, which included specially made cans featuring her likeness to commemorate the partnership.
However, the controversy surrounding the endorsement deal led to Kid Rock shooting up several cans of Bud Light with an assault rifle, and even prompted a local Missouri distributor to cancel an appearance by the famous Budweiser Clydesdale horses due to concerns about the safety of staffers.
Industry experts have speculated that the backlash against Anheuser-Busch’s partnership with Mulvaney could have a lasting impact, potentially leading to a widespread boycott of the company’s products.
Despite the criticism, Mulvaney reportedly continues to rake in lucrative sponsorship deals with other big-name brands such as Nike and Kate Spade, earning over $1 million from these deals.
However, even these partnerships have not been without controversy, as Megyn Kelly recently lashed out at Mulvaney’s deal with Nike during an episode of “The Megyn Kelly Show” on SiriusXM.
“Nike sponsoring Dylan Mulvaney now for a f–king sports bra,” Kelly said. “I’m sorry, Dylan doesn’t have breasts. Dylan’s been taking some sort of hormone that has turned Dylan into some…I don’t know what’s happening there, but those are not breasts. And Dylan doesn’t need any sort of a bra – never mind a sports bra,” Kelly added.
Despite the backlash, both Bud Light and Nike have stood by Mulvaney and pushed back against the criticism.
However, the controversy surrounding the partnership with the transgender influencer has undoubtedly had a significant impact on Anheuser-Busch’s value, resulting in a loss of over $5 billion and leaving the company facing potential long-term consequences in the wake of the Dylan Mulvaney Bud Light controversy.