Bud Light faced backlash over its campaign featuring a trans influencer. But a poll shows that a majority of American beer drinkers support such campaigns.

Different brands of beer.

Different brands of beer.Noam Galai/Getty Images

  • Bud Light and its parent company faced boycott calls for working with trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney.

  • But a new poll found that a majority of American beer drinkers favor brands that partner with trans influencers.

  • A majority of beer drinkers also favored brands that hire more inclusive talent, according to Morning Consult.

Despite a recent backlash, a majority of American beer drinkers appear to approve of brands that partner with transgender people.

That’s according to a new Morning Consult poll that surveyed 4,401 people two weeks after trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney announced his partnership with Bud Light on April 1.

Some right-wing groups — which have made transphobia a central part of their national message — immediately vilified Mulvaney, Bud Light and its parent company, Anheuser-Busch, and called for mass boycotts.

Yet of the monthly beer drinkers polled by Morning Consult, 53% said they had a very favorable or somewhat favorable response to a brand hiring a transgender spokesperson.

Also, 61% of regular beer drinkers had a very favorable or somewhat favorable response to brands hiring more inclusive advertising talent.

The survey also asked respondents about their political affiliation. About 66% of Democrats had favorable responses, while 49% of Republicans had unfavorable responses.

That said, the results among Republicans were by no means unanimous, despite recent outrage from some unhappy with Bud Light’s partnership with Mulvaney. About a quarter of respondents who identified as Republicans responded positively to brands that hire transgender people.

Regardless, Bud Light is still feeling the heat of the backlash.

Bud Light sales were down 17% this week compared to the same time last year, and top marketing executives involved in the Mulvaney campaign at Bud Light and Anheuser-Busch took furloughs.

Mulvaney also partnered with Nike, prompting similar calls for a boycott. The company responded by saying it would not tolerate bullying or hate speech.

It’s not the first boycott conservatives have launched, but it may – at least for now – be more successful than previous attempts. In 2018, conservatives called for a boycott of Nike after it partnered with former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Despite the noise, Nike later reported booming sales.

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