Dylan Mulvaney, the transgender influencer whose ill-fated partnership with Bud Light resulted in devastating losses for the brand, says more companies need to collaborate with transgender people.
Speaking with LGBTQ digital magazine Them on Tuesday, Mulvaney said that leveraging the "power" and "privilege" of being a white trans person is important because it will help advance transgender brand partnerships.
"For a long time, I felt so lucky that these opportunities were coming my way that I thought it was by accident," the activist said. "But now I realize how much power I actually have. If a brand wants to work with me so bad, then they should work with other trans people, too. It's not enough to just hire me, this white, skinny trans girl. I want all the dolls getting all the brand deals."
Bud Light's parent company, Anheuser-Busch, has lost $27 billion in market value since partnering with Mulvaney for a "March Madness" social media campaign. Consumers revolted against the brand for making Mulvaney personalized Bud Light cans to celebrate the influencer's self-described "365 days of girlhood" milestone.
More than a month later, the beer giant is still feeling the effects of a consumer boycott, with some retailers selling Budweiser products essentially for free through a promotional rebate.
In the Tuesday interview, Mulvaney declined to address critics of the Bud Light partnership.
"I prefer not to name any of those people, because it gives them the satisfaction of believing they're on my mind," Mulvaney said. "It shows my followers that I'm standing up for myself, but also pushes that their narrative is loud enough to matter."
The TikTok star did say that all the negative attention from the beer brouhaha is frightening.
"I'm scared," Mulvaney told the magazine. "I never expected to have people following me, or experience such negative media attention. I walk into a room and I never know if somebody is going to really love me or really hate me."
Mulvaney previously mentioned having trouble sleeping because of the intense blowback caused by the Bud Light promotion.
On April 14, Anheuser-Busch CEO Brendan Whitworth responded to the controversy with a statement that received widespread derision from both the right and the left.
"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 said. "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."
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