(breitbart) – Anheuser-Busch CEO Brendan Whitworth issued a mea culpa Friday in the wake of the company’s partnership with Dylan Mulvaney, a former gay man who now claims to be a woman.
The move sparked backlash across the nation as the company became the latest to focus on woke social issues — namely, the radical left’s attempts to promote woke gender ideology into society by injecting it into schools and placing it on the forefront of favorite brands in corporate America. According to reports, Anheuser-Busch lost more than $6 billion in market value following its promotional campaign with the transgender TikTok star as tensions rose and boycotts ensued.
On Friday, Whitworth issued a statement, contending that the company “never intended to be part of a discussion that divides people.”
“As the CEO of a company founded in America’s heartland more than 165 years ago, I am responsible for ensuring every consumer feels proud of the beer we brew,” Whitworth’s statement reads.
Before issuing a soft mea culpa, he continued:
We’re honored to be part of the fabric of this country. Anheuser-Busch employs more than 18,000 people and our independent distributors employ an additional 47,000 valued colleagues. We have thousands of partners, millions of fans and a proud history supporting our communities, military, first responders, sports fans, and hard-working Americans everywhere.
“We never intended to be part of a discussion that divides people. We are in the business of bringing people together over a beer,” Whitworth wrote, adding, “My time serving this country taught me the importance of accountability and the values upon which America was founded: freedom, hard work and respect for one another. ”
“As CEO of Anheuser-Busch, I am focused on building and protecting our remarkable history and heritage,” he continued, highlighting his commitment to the country, company, brands, and partners.
“I spend much of my time traveling across America, listening to and learning from our customers, distributors, and others,” he said. “Moving forward, I will continue to work tirelessly to bring great beers to consumers across our nation.”
The statement comes weeks after a March 23 podcast interview with the vice president of marketing at Bud Light, Alissa Heinerscheid. During her appearance on the Make Yourself at Home podcast, the marketing executive criticized the brand’s image prior to her position at the company, describing her desire to “shift the tone” and make it “truly inclusive … lighter and brighter and different and [appealing] to women and to men.”
“Representation is at the heart of evolution,” she said, lamenting the brand’s previous image as “fratty” with “kind of out-of-touch humor.”
Other top conservative personalities criticized the company’s move, as it honored the transgender star with a limited release can.
“This month I celebrated my day 365 of womanhood and Bud Light sent me possibly the best gift ever — a can with my face on it,” Mulvaney said, announcing the deal on Instagram in a controversial April 1 post:
“We’ve all seen the backlash that Budweiser is facing over the trans marketing scheme,” Donald Trump Jr. said during an episode of his podcast, Triggered.
“People are pissed, and justifiably so,” he said, noting other brands, such as Nike, are also joining in on the woke effort, even using Mulvaney — a biological man — to promote sports bras.
“Anheuser-Busch is an iconic American company. This is Budweiser, you know, with the Clydesdales with the football and bald eagles,” Don Jr. said, inquiring whether the move was a “one-off colossal screwup” or “something bigger.”
He went on, noting that this led him and his team to do some digging, and they discovered that Anheuser-Busch actually supports Republicans:
This could be just the act of one rogue woke lunatic in a marketing department filled with leftist staffers. The Daily Wire is now reporting that no one at the senior level of Anheuser-Busch was aware of the partnership with Dylan Mulvaney. That makes sense, and I saw a little bit about that. Charlie Kirk was talking about it.
“In a woke corporate America, Anheuser-Busch supports Republicans’ last cycle. Their employees and their PAC gave about 60 percent to Republicans and 40 percent of Democrats,” he said, noting that those figures are “literally almost unheard of in corporate America, where it’s really easy to go woke, where they do so constantly.”
Don Jr. also noted that Anheuser-Busch “went big” for Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH) and is focused on bills regarding taxes and trade.
“They haven’t done any lobbying for like the random pet issues of the day and the nonsense,” he said, which further made their latest move a bit out of character.
Upon building the case that the company seems to be one of the most conservative-leaning in the country, Don Jr. put them “on notice.”
Indeed, Charlie Kirk made these same points during an episode of The Charlie Kirk Show, explaining that he expects “strange and weird” things from other companies, such as Coca-Cola and Nike.
“We thought of this brand as something that was supposed to be safe, as something that was off limits,” he said of Anheuser-Busch, explaining that the company donated “nearly a half-million dollars” to support J.D. Vance and spent hundreds of thousands to “try to fire Nancy Pelosi.”
Overall, Kirk suggested the company’s controversial campaign move stung so many Americans because it fundamentally does not seem to get into the weeds of politics — at least not publicly.
“They just seem to want to be nonpolitical at every turn. That’s what made this concerning. Some of the evidence seems that this is a one-off screwup. I certainly hope it doesn’t happen again,” Kirk added, expressing hope this would serve as a lesson learned.