Bud Light is doubling down on its all-things-to-all-people strategy with a massive $200,000 donation intended to benefit LGBTQ businesses of color as the beer brand seeks to contain the fallout from its partnership with a transgender social media influencer.
In May the Anheuser-Busch beer brand quietly announced it would make a donation to the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce’s Communities of Color Initiative. The move is another attempt by Bud Light to thread the needle between backlash from both the right and the left that has cost the brand tens of billions of dollars in market value.
According to a press release from May 30th, Anheuser-Busch stated, “Bud Light was brewed to be an ‘Easy to Drink, Easy to Enjoy’ beer for everyone 21+ and that still holds true today. We look forward to extending our work with the NGLCC to continue making a positive impact on the LGBTQ+ businesses that play a critical role in bringing people everywhere, together.”
Despite touting a “strong track record of industry leadership in supporting the LGBTQ+ community,” Bud Light has seen its “social credit score” with liberal groups tank after distancing itself from Dylan Mulvaney, the transgender influencer who ignited a firestorm after social media posts intended to drive the brand toward more “inclusive” marketing and away from its “fratty” blue-collar base of customers.
In addition to cries of betrayal from the left, Bud Light has withered a torrent of criticism from celebrities, commentators and politicians who have celebrated its misfortune. The company has seemingly gone in every public relations direction as it attempted to course-correct, first blaming the controversy on “misinformation” before pivoting to launch camo-printed cans and giving away free beer.
Ahead of the June celebration of Pride Month, conservatives online turned their fire from Bud Light to other brands they accused of going “woke” in appeals toward LGBTQ inclusiveness. Brands like Target, Kohl’s, and Chik-fil-A have been hit hard by public confrontations in their stores and online boycotts intended to shame the brands away from inclusive messaging and redirect them to basic customer service.