Watch CBS News

Dylan Mulvaney breaks silence on Bud Light partnership backlash in new video

Budweiser releases new ad amid backlash
Budweiser releases new ad amid backlash over partnership with Dylan Mulvaney 06:39

Dylan Mulvaney has broken her silence after her polarizing partnership with Bud Light prompted backlash and hateful comments, mainly from conservatives who criticized the company's decision to partner with a transgender woman. The influencer posted a video statement on Instagram, explaining she had intentionally stayed offline for a few weeks after the controversy started. 

"I'm going to try to leave gender out of this, since that's how we found ourselves here," she said in the video. 

Earlier this month, Mulvaney posted an ad for Bud Light on Instagram, promoting a sweepstakes contest and sharing custom beer cans the company had given her with her face on them. Companies often partner with social media influencers, who are paid to share ads with their large followings. 

The ad prompted some celebrities, including Kid Rock – who shared a video of himself shooting cases of Bud Light – to urge others to boycott the beer. 

The 26-year-old, who has 10.8 million followers on TikTok and 1.8 million on Instagram, received hateful comments online. The backlash prompted the beer's parent company, Anheuser-Busch, to issue a statement, with CEO Brendan Whitworth saying they "never intended to be part of a discussion that divides people." 

In her Instagram video, Mulvaney said some of the discourse surrounding the partnership was so far from her truth, she didn't know people were even talking about her sometimes. 

She said she intended to stay out of the conversations, but decided she should address her following.

Mulvaney said during her childhood, she was called "too feminine and over the top" — the same criticism being leveled at her again as an adult. She said she grew up in a conservative family and is fortunate they support her and she still has her faith, which is helping her during this time.

"But what I'm struggling to understand is the need to dehumanize and to be cruel," she said. "I don't think that's right. Dehumanization has never fixed anything in history ever. And, you know, I'm embarrassed to even tell you this, but I was nervous that you were going to start believing those things that they were saying about me, since it is so loud. But I'm just gonna go ahead and trust that the people who know me and my heart won't listen to that noise."

Mulvaney, who recently put on a variety show to celebrate the first anniversary of her transition, said she was going to go "back to making people laugh and to never stop learning."

"And going forward, I wanna share parts of myself on here that have nothing to do with my identity, and I'm hoping those parts will still be exciting to you and will be enough. And to those of you who support me and choose to see my humanity—even if you don't fully understand or relate to me — thank you," she said.

The partnership resulted in a drop in the company's stock, and other companies that have partnered with Mulvaney, like Maybelline and Nike, have also received backlash. 

Mulvaney joked that in her next life, she would like to be reincarnated into "someone non-confrontational, and uncontroversial." 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.