At The 2023 Streamy Awards, while accepting the “Breakout Creator” accolade, Dylan Mulvaney discussed the backlash faced by Anheuser-Busch for their collaboration on a March Madness campaign. Anheuser-Busch experienced a significant decline in revenue and market value after introducing Bud Light packs featuring Mulvaney’s face, celebrating the influencer’s “365 Days of Girlhood” journey.
Mulvaney acknowledged the campaign’s positive impact on their life but also expressed concern over the heightened transphobia and animosity that emerged. “While there’s been personal growth for me,” Mulvaney reflected at the awards, “there has also been a surge in transphobia and hatred. This increase in hatred isn’t just something I’ve noticed, but my community and our allies have felt it too.”
Urging fellow creators to support the transgender community boldly and publicly, Mulvaney asserted, “The definition of allyship needs to evolve. Public and proud support for the trans community is paramount.” The audience resonated with Mulvaney’s words, breaking into applause.
Despite the challenges, Mulvaney remained hopeful for a brighter future, emphasizing the often-underestimated strength of trans individuals and online creators. In a lighthearted conclusion, Mulvaney said, “I’m off to enjoy a beer now, love you all,” before leaving the stage.
Earlier, in June, Mulvaney had addressed the Bud Light controversy in a video, mentioning that the March Madness collaboration led to unprecedented bullying and transphobia. Mulvaney also criticized Anheuser-Busch for their lack of support during this challenging time. “When a company chooses to work with a trans individual but doesn’t publicly back them, it’s even more damaging than not engaging them in the first place. It indirectly gives consumers the green light to exhibit prejudice and hatred,” Mulvaney had remarked.
Billy Busch, heir to Anheuser-Busch, had contrasting views, suggesting that the collaboration with Mulvaney might have been against his ancestors’ wishes. Busch expressed the urgency for Bud Light’s brand rejuvenation, expressing his willingness to repurchase the company to restore its former glory.
Anheuser-Busch, the leading global brewery, announced a 10.5% drop in U.S. revenue for the April-to-June quarter compared to the previous year, mainly attributing this to a dip in Bud Light sales.
After reigning as America’s top-selling beer for over twenty years, Bud Light was overtaken in June by Modelo Especial, a Mexican lager. Interestingly, both brands fall under the umbrella of Belgium’s ABInBev.