Dylan Mulvaney Says Bud Light Turned 'a Blind Eye' After Brand Deal Sparked Transphobic Comments

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Mulvaney alleged that the company "never" reached out to her amid the controversy

<p>Dominik Bindl/Getty</p>

Dominik Bindl/Getty

Dylan Mulvaney is seemingly addressing Bud Light for the first time publicly.

On Thursday, the actor and social media influencer, who is transgender, posted a TikTok video calling out Anheuser-Busch, Bud Light’s parent company, for not reaching out to her amid harmful transphobic rhetoric that followed their partnership. Mulvaney did not directly use the company's name.

Mulvaney first posted a short clip with the beer brand this spring. Shortly after, it sparked hateful commentary among conservative social media personalities, politicians and celebrities, many of whom used transphobic rhetoric to attack Bud Light for turning to “woke” advertising. Some customers also boycotted the company's beers.

Mulvaney, who has over 10.6 million followers on TikTok, hasn’t provided more background on the controversy until now. In a video captioned, “Trans people like beer too,” she candidly responded to the backlash.

“One thing I will not tolerate people saying about me is that I don’t like beer, and I always have,” the TikTok creator said at the start of the video. (Watch the full video below.)

Mulvaney then went on to summarize the sequence of events. “I took a brand deal with the company that I loved, and I posted a sponsored video to my page. And it must’ve been a slow news week because the way that this ad got blown up you would have thought that I was on a billboard or on a TV commercial…” she said, adding that the company sent her one can of beer with her face on it that she now can’t find in her house. “When I do find it, I feel like it needs to go in a museum — preferably behind bulletproof glass.”

In the wake of the hateful comments against her, Mulvaney then admitted that she “should have made this video months ago.”

“I’m bringing it up because what transpired from that video was more bullying and transphobia than I could have ever imagined,” she said. Mulvaney would have made this video sooner but she was scared of more backlash, she said.

Related: Everything to Know About the Bud Light Controversy

<p>Dylan Mulvaney/Instagram</p> Dylan Mulvaney's Bud Light ad that sparked controversy

Dylan Mulvaney/Instagram

Dylan Mulvaney's Bud Light ad that sparked controversy

Mulvaney then revealed that she was waiting for the brand to reach out to her over the past few months, but “they never did.” She listed out the negative effects the subsequent response to the ad have had on her.

“For months now, I’ve been scared to leave my house. I have been ridiculed in public. I’ve been followed. And I have felt a loneliness that I wouldn’t wish on anyone,” she said. “If this is my experience from a very privileged perspective, know that it is much, much worse for other trans people.”

Related: Garth Brooks Explains Why He Spoke Out About Inclusivity: 'Our Differences Are Our Greatest Strengths'

“For a company to hire a trans person and then not publicly stand by them is worse in my opinion than not hiring a trans person at all because it gives customers permission to be as transphobic and hateful as they want,” she continued. “And the hate doesn’t end with me. It has serious and grave consequences for the rest of our community. And we’re customers, too. I know a lot of trans and queer people who love beer.”

<p>Dylan Mulvaney/Instagram</p> Dylan Mulvaney's personalized Bud Light can

Dylan Mulvaney/Instagram

Dylan Mulvaney's personalized Bud Light can

She then explained her frustration towards the silent tactic.

“To turn a blind eye and pretend everything is okay — it just isn’t an option right now. And you might say, ‘But Dylan, I don’t want to get political.’ Babe, supporting trans people, it shouldn’t be political. There should be nothing controversial or divisive about working with us,” she added.

Mulvaney ended the video on a positive note, pleading with her followers to support trans people. She said she would love something “productive” to come of this and then provided a link for people to donate to the Transgender Law Center.

Related: TikTok Star Dylan Mulvaney on Dating as a Trans Woman: 'I Get a Do-Over'

<p>Dylan Mulvaney/ TikTok</p> Dylan Mulvaney responds to Bud Light controversy

Dylan Mulvaney/ TikTok

Dylan Mulvaney responds to Bud Light controversy

“I’m going to celebrate the fact that no matter how many thousands of horrible messages or news anchors misgendering me or companies going silent that I can look in the mirror and see the woman that I am and that I love being,” she added.

A spokesperson for Anheuser-Busch tells PEOPLE in a statement that they "remain committed to the programs and partnerships we have forged over decades with organizations across a number of communities, including those in the LGBTQ+ community. The privacy and safety of our employees and our partners is always our top priority. As we move 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.”

Mulvaney’s video comes after the company’s CEO, Brendan Whitworth, appeared on CBS Mornings on Wednesday, and didn’t directly answer the question of if it was a “mistake” to partner with the young activist.

Mulvaney has found supporters in some public figures, though. Earlier this month, Garth Brooks told Billboard that he’ll be serving “every brand of beer” at his Friends In Low Places Bar & Honky Tonk in Nashville.

“We just are. It’s not our decision to make. Our thing is this, if you [are let] into this house, love one another,” he said. “If you’re an a–hole, there are plenty of other places on lower Broadway.”

During a press conference the week after his statement — where he announced a new station on his SEVENS Radio Network on TuneIn Radio — Brooks revealed that he's "always been inclusive," and that's not changing for his new bar.

"I think if you know Garth Brooks, no matter how long you've known him, [he's] always been inclusive. We're gonna need each other, trust me," Brooks said, per Entertainment Tonight. "It's like when we put this team together for The BIG 615 [station]. You're gonna need all these different talents."

"So I think that, [with regards to] diversity, inclusiveness, I think what you find is our differences are our greatest strengths," he said, according to the outlet.

If you or someone you know needs mental health help, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor.

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