Anheuser-Busch CEO Issues Lukewarm, Flat Statement Amid Dylan Mulvaney Controversy

Brendan Whitworth tried to defuse tensions with a message that appeared to have anything meaningful massaged out of it.

Sure, beer is often canned — but statements from beer company executives probably shouldn’t be.

On Friday, Anheuser-Busch CEO Brendan Whitworth issued a decidedly flat and lukewarm message amid a controversy over Bud Light’s recent collaboration with transgender actor Dylan Mulvaney.

On April 1, Mulvaney had posted a social media video showing off special Bud Light cans featuring her image. An Anheuser-Busch spokesperson told HuffPost that the “commemorative can seen in the video was intended as a gift to celebrate a personal milestone and is not for sale to the general public.”

Despite this, Mulvaney’s video inspired a lot of Bud Light hate from conservatives. These included the musician Kid Rock, who posted a video of himself shooting cases of the beer, and country music stars John Rich and Travis Tritt, who called for a Bud Light boycott.

Meanwhile, Budweiser factories nationwide were reportedly the targets of bomb threats this week.

Whitworth, who took the helm of Anheuser-Busch in 2021, tried to defuse tensions with Friday’s statement, which appeared to have anything meaningful massaged out of it.

“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,” he wrote, noting Anheuser-Busch’s employment figures and its support for “hard-working Americans.”

Next, Whitworth touched on why he felt obliged to issue a statement without naming the exact reason for why he was making it.

“We never intended to be part of a discussion that divides people. We are in the business of bringing people together over a beer,” he said.

The former Marine then returned to vague profundities and a bland appeal to patriotism.

“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,” Whitworth said.

“I am focused on building and protecting our remarkable history and heritage,” he added. “I care deeply about this country, this company, our brands and our partners. I spend much of my time traveling across America, listening to and learning from our customers, distributors and others.”

Whitworth promised to “continue to work tirelessly to bring great beers to consumers across our nation” — presumably by offering more bland, inoffensive statements.

Whitworth’s message may have appealed to risk-averse Anheuser-Busch shareholders and the corporation’s nervous-Nellie public relations team, but not to anyone else, based on the reaction from Twitter users.

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