John Rich, country music singer and founder of Redneck Riviera, a bar and restaurant in Nashville, has revealed that he has stopped serving Bud Light as part of a boycott against the beer maker’s partnership with transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney in a recent campaign.
Rich told Tucker Carlson on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” that he was responding to customer feedback, saying, “Customers are king, I own a bar in downtown Nashville. Our number one selling beer up until a few days ago was what? Bud Light.” However, since the controversy, he said his customers are instead ordering other brands.
The beer maker came under fire earlier this month when Mulvaney, an influencer who is trans, was featured in a promotional campaign for Bud Light, sharing custom-made cans featuring her face. The announcement was met with criticism, including Twitter users who accused the company of promoting “gender propaganda”. Kid Rock even used several Bud Light cases for target practice in a viral video echoing calls to boycott the brand.
Time to make a switch? @RedneckRiviera #Whiskey https://t.co/H8UiNbAQQP 👈StoreLocator👆🇺🇸👆🇺🇸👆🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/o9uSoR8DeL
— John Rich🇺🇸 (@johnrich) April 6, 2023
“It’s their right to market it however they want. They’re making a bet [that] this is going to sell more product,” Rich said. “What’s happening, Tucker, is people who have been loyal to brands for decades and decades are finding it hard to stay loyal to them, so they start hunting down other brands that they can support.” There are, according to Rich, plenty of up-and-coming American brands that people are looking to instead.
Bud Light’s vice president of marketing, Alissa Heinerscheid, defended the decision to partner with Mulvaney and said she aimed to update “fratty” and “out of touch” humor with inclusivity in a recent podcast interview. “This brand is in decline, it’s been in a decline for a really long time, and if we do not attract young drinkers to come and drink this brand there will be no future for Bud Light,” she said.
An Anheuser-Busch spokesperson also defended the partnership, saying, “Anheuser-Busch works with hundreds of influencers across our brands as one of many ways to authentically connect with audiences across various demographics. From time to time we produce unique commemorative cans for fans and for brand influencers, like Dylan Mulvaney. This commemorative can was a gift to celebrate a personal milestone and is not for sale to the general public.”