2nd Bud Light Executive on Leave Amid Trans Beer Boycott Fallout

2nd Bud Light Executive on Leave Amid Trans Beer Boycott Fallout
Bud Light beer cans sit on a table in right field during the Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore on Sept. 19, 2019. (Rob Carr/Getty Images)

A second Bud Light executive has “taken a leave of absence” following backlash over the company’s decision to partner with transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney for a campaign, according to reports.

Daniel Blake, vice president for mainstream brands at parent company Anheuser-Busch, stepped back from his role just days after Alissa Heinerscheid, who has been vice president of marketing for Bud Light for nearly a year, reportedly took a leave of absence.

“Given the circumstances, Alissa has decided to take a leave of absence, which we support,” an Anheuser-Busch spokeswoman told the Wall Street Journal in an emailed statement. “Daniel has also decided to take a leave of absence.”

According to his official LinkedIn profile, Blake joined Anheuser-Busch as a marketing intern in 2013 before becoming group vice president of marketing for Budweiser in 2021. He stepped into his current role less than a year ago in May 2022.

The spokeswoman did not provide further details regarding Blake’s decision to step down and the company has not yet announced his replacement.

Heinerscheid is being replaced by Budweiser vice president of global marketing Todd Allen, according to AdAge.

The Epoch Times contacted an Anheuser-Busch spokesperson for further comment but did not receive a response by publication time.

The latest departures come amid an ongoing boycott of Bud Light following the company’s decision to partner with transgender social media influencer Mulvaney, a biological male who identifies as female.

Mulvaney, who has over 10 million followers on TikTok, has been documenting a transgender transformation dubbed “365 Days of Girlhood” on the video-sharing app.

NTD Photo
Bud Light beer cans sit on a table in right field during the Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore on Sept. 19, 2019. (Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Bud Light Controversy Explained

While Mulvaney has risen to prominence on the platform due to video diaries, Mulvaney was catapulted into the spotlight earlier this month when Bud Light sent the influencer a pack of beers with Mulvaney’s face emblazoned across them to celebrate both the influencer’s 365 days of being a “woman” and to promote the company’s March Madness contest.

Mulvaney promptly took to Instagram—dressed like Holly Golightly from “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”—to reveal the personalized cans.

“This month, I celebrated my 365 days of womanhood and Bud Light sent me possibly the best gift ever—a can with my face on it,” Mulvaney said in the video.

In a second video shared on Instagram, Mulvaney drank a can of Bud Light in a bathtub.

The move sparked a backlash among Bud Light drinkers, many of whom called for a boycott, and Anheuser-Busch, which also produces Budweiser, lost up to $6.5 billion in stock value within days.

A day before Mulvaney’s videos featuring the personalized Bud light cans, Heinerscheid appeared on the “Make Yourself at Home” podcast, where she discussed her work at the brewery company and her ambitions to make it more inclusive.

“I’m a businesswoman. I had an obvious job to do when I took over Bud Light, and it was ‘This brand is in decline, it’s been in a decline for a really long time, and if we do not attract young drinkers to come and drink this brand, there will be no future for Bud Light,’” she said.

“Representation is sort of at the heart of evolution,” Heinerscheid continued. “You’ve got to see people who reflect you in the work, and we had this hangover. I mean, Bud Light had been kind of a brand of fratty, kind of out-of-touch humor, and it was really important we had another approach.”

NTD Photo
(Left) Bud Light beer cans sit on a table at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore on Sept. 19, 2019. (Rob Carr/Getty Images); (Right) White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre at the White House on April 20, 2023. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Bud Light Sales Tumble

Multiple high-profile figures, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Arizona Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, and Mike Crispi, the former Republican New Jersey primary candidate for Congress, have supported calls for a Bud Light boycott.

As the boycott gained momentum, Anheuser-Busch CEO Brendan Whitworth issued a statement on April 14 saying that the company “never intended to be part of a discussion that divides people.”

However, Whitworth’s statement appears to have done little to quell the controversy, as sales of Bud Light fell 17 percent in the week ended April 15, while volume dropped 21 percent, according to an analysis from NielsenIQ and Bump Williams Consulting as reported by the New York Post.

In comparison, during that same week, sales of rival beers Coors Light and Miller Lite were each up by 18 percent during the same period, according to the analysis.

Weighing in on the matter during a daily press briefing last week, White House press secretary Jean-Pierre said the Biden administration will do everything it can to protect members of the LGBT community “who are under attack.”

“When a transgender American posts a video about a brand of beer they enjoy and it leads to bomb threats, it’s clear that level of violence and vitriol against transgender Americans has to stop,” she said. “That’s what we’ve been seeing across the country, especially in statehouses. We’re going to fight alongside them to protect their rights, and they should be allowed to be who they are, who they want to be.”

Tom Ozimek contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times

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