Dylan Mulvaney, the trans influencer at the center of beer giant Anheuser-Busch’s recent controversy, has something to get off his chest.
The TikTok star posted a lengthy Instagram video Thursday detailing the personal and professional effects of a recent right-wing smear campaign against her and the company, which sparked backlash earlier this year after sending her a promotional can of Bud Light emblazoned with a graphic of her face.
She said the whole incident began when she took “a branding deal with a company I loved” to celebrate March Madness and her “day 365 of womanhood” — but things immediately turned sour after her single video sparked one of the worst cases of entitlement. -wing hysteria in recent memory.
“It must have been a slow news week because the way this ad blew up, you would have thought I was like on a billboard or on a TV commercial or something big,”[ads1]; Mulvaney shared. “But no, it was just an Instagram video.”
Immediately after the video, prominent far-right figures called for a boycott of the beer – while a number of others took even more extreme measures. Led by musician Kid Rock, more than a few Internet conservatives posted videos of themselves downing cases of Bud Light with assault rifles, apparently in protest of Anheuser Busch’s minor partnership with a transgender person.
Mulvaney said in her Thursday video that she used to have the gifted, personalized can around her house, but she realized she had to “protect it” and “hid it so well” that she can no longer find it. When she did, however, she joked that the box “must go in a museum, preferably behind bulletproof glass.”
“I’m bringing it up because what happened from that video was more bullying and transphobia than I could have ever imagined,” she said, fighting back tears. “I was afraid of more backlash and I felt personally guilty for what happened, so I waited patiently for things to get better. But surprise! They really haven’t.”
“I was waiting for the brand to reach out to me, but they never did,” she added.
An Anheuser-Busch spokesperson told The Daily Beast in a statement that the company remains “committed to the programs and partnerships we have forged over decades with organizations across a range of communities, including those in the LGBTQ+ community.” However, the statement did not mention Mulvaney.
“The privacy and security of our employees and our partners is always our top priority,” the spokesperson wrote. “Moving forward, we will focus on what we do best – brewing great beer for everyone and earning our place in moments that matter to our consumers.”
Weeks after the anti-trans crackdown began, Anheuser-Busch issued a confusing response in April, in which the company avoided mentioning Mulvaney and vaguely claimed it “never intended to be part of a discussion that divides people.”
But the company only dug itself a deeper hole after it took leave of a pair of marketing executives who oversaw its partnership with Mulvaney. Anheuser Busch was then forced to desperately give away free cases of Bud Light to distributors to “make amends” for a massive hit to sales.
It got even weirder when the CEO of Anheuser-Busch backtracked completely, telling investors there was no formal ad campaign with Mulvaney—claiming all they did was send her a custom box that wasn’t available to the public.
The boycotts then took a 180-degree turn and gay bars began wiping Anheuser-Busch from their own shelves to show support for the trans star, who they believe was abandoned by the company.
“I’ve been afraid to leave my house, I’ve been publicly ridiculed, I’ve been followed, and I’ve felt a loneliness that I wouldn’t wish on anyone,” Mulvaney said in his Thursday video. “I’m not telling you this because I want your pity, I’m telling you this because if this is my experience from a very privileged perspective, know that it’s much much worse for other trans people.”
“For a company to hire a trans person and then not publicly stand by them is, in my opinion, worse than not hiring a trans person at all,” she continued.
She felt that Bud Light gave “customers permission to be as transphobic and hateful as they want” and that the hate has “serious and dire consequences” for the rest of the LGBTQ+ community.
Mulvaney also repeatedly emphasized that queer and transgender people are also customers. “I have some lesbian friends who could drink some of those haters under the table,” she joked.
“Turning a blind eye and pretending everything is okay is just not an option right now. And you can say, ‘But Dylan, I don’t want to get political.’ Baby! Supporting trans people, it shouldn’t be political. There should be nothing controversial or divisive about working with us, Mulvaney said. “I know it’s possible.”
She highlighted that caring about the LGBTQ+ community “requires a lot more than just a donation somewhere during Pride month.”
“Hey, it’s still Pride month. So I’m going to celebrate being alive and I’m going to celebrate the trans people in my life and the ones I haven’t met yet,” she concluded. “And I will celebrate the fact that no matter how many thousands of cruel messages, or news anchors who misgender me, or companies who stay silent, that I can look in the mirror and see the woman that I am and that I love to be. .”