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Ten days after Kid Rock shouted “F–k Bud Light!” in a video response to trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney posting about a personalized gift from the beer giant, those words became a rallying cry at a downtown Nashville bar owned by John Rich.
During a Thursday afternoon (April 13) visit to the country singer-songwriter’s Redneck Riviera Bar & BBQ, a restaurant staffer could be seen covering the blue Bud Light cans that were part of an American “beer can flag.” The blue coverings sported white stars that obscured the brand’s iconic logo; the red and white beer cans, which included Budweiser cans, were not covered.
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An American flag was draped over the wall while the coverings were being applied to the Bud Light cans. When all the stars were in place, the staffer removed the American flag, revealing the altered beer can flag display. The group of approximately 30 patrons in the restaurant applauded, with a few yelling “F–k Bud Light!” Other patrons of the bar lauded Rich’s decision.
The backlash stems from an April 1 video in which the transgender TikTok star/social media influencer posted about a can of Bud Light with her face on it. Though the can was a personalized, not-commercially-available gift just for Mulvaney, musicians including Travis Tritt, Kid Rock and John Rich spoke out against the beer giant. Rock posted a video in which he shot several cases of Bud Light with an assault-style rifle while shouting “f–k Bud Light and f–k Anheuser-Busch.”
A bartender at Redneck Riviera Bar & BBQ confirmed that though the restaurant is no longer actively selling or promoting Bud Light to customers, they will accommodate customer requests for Bud Light with the product they have left in stock. They are still selling other products owned by Anheuser-Busch (AB) InBev.
A representative for Redneck Riviera and Rich paints the decision to pull Bud Light products from the restaurant as based on business and consumer demand, rather than politics. A Redneck Riviera representative confirmed to Billboard that sales of Bud Light have “fallen dramatically” at Redneck Riviera following the release of the Mulvaney video, with Miller Lite now becoming the lower-calorie beer of choice.
“I think the customers decide,” Rich told the outlet. “Customers are king. I own a bar downtown in Nashville called Redneck Riviera and our No. 1 selling beer up until a few days ago was guess what — Bud Light. That was the No. 1 beer. We’ve got cases and cases and cases of it sitting back there but in the past several days, you are hard pressed to find someone ordering one, so as the business-owner, I just go, ‘Hey, if you guys aren’t going to order it, we’ve got to put something else in here.’ At the end of the day, that’s capitalism.”
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A representative for Redneck Riviera noted that in response to the low Bud Light sales, Bud and Bud Light signs are being removed in the restaurant, while Bud Light Draft will be replaced with Miller Lite draft. John Rich’s Redneck Riviera Bar & BBQ opened at 208 Broadway in Nashville in 2018.
A similar visit to Kid Rock’s Big Ass Honky Tonk Rock n’ Roll Steakhouse in Nashville on Thursday afternoon (April 13) revealed that AB beers such as Bud Light and Budweiser are no longer on the menu. Representatives for Kid Rock and Kid Rock’s Big Ass Honky Tonk Rock n’ Roll Steakhouse could not be reached by press time.
On April 1, transgender TikTok star/social media influencer Dylan Mulvaney posted a video of herself taking part in the Bud Light Easy Carry Contest during the NCAA’s March Madness. The video saw Mulvaney telling followers that Bud Light had helped her celebrate her “365th day of womanhood” with “possibly the best gift ever” — a can of Bud Light that featured Mulvaney’s face on the can. In addition to Kid Rock’s reaction video, Tritt said via Twitter that he was removing all Anheuser-Busch products from his tour rider.
Mulvaney appeared on a recent episode of Onward With Rosie O’Donnell on April 11, and seemed to respond to the backlash regarding her work with brands including Bud Light. Mulvaney told O’Donnell, “I have tried to be the most uncontroversial person this past year, and somehow, it has made me controversial still. I think it comes back to the fact that these people don’t understand me, and anything that I do or say then somehow gets taken out of context and used against me. And it’s so sad, because everything I try to put out there is positive.”
O’Donnell addressed the Kid Rock video, saying, “Kid Rock had to take an assault weapon and shoot the boxes of beer, proving what? Beer companies have been supportive of the LGBTQIA community for decades! This is not the first time! Who do you think sponsors Pride? C’mon. Gay people, trans people, we drink beer, too, man! Put down your gun, Kid Rock, it’s in bad taste — especially after what happened at the school in Nashville,” referring to a mass shooting that took place at the private Christian school The Covenant School on March 27, which resulted in the deaths of three schoolchildren, three staff members and the shooter.
In related news, the 2023 NFL Draft will be presented by Bud Light this year.
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