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The Bud Light executive who had the idea of forming a partnership with transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney is taking a leave of absence from the company.
Alissa Heinerscheid, the vice president of marketing, is going to be replaced by Budweiser global marketing VP Todd Allen, AdAge reported.
“I’m a businesswoman, I had a really clear 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,‘” the executive said.
She said that she believed the way to do that was to incorporate “inclusivity, it means shifting the tone, it means having a campaign that’s truly inclusive, and feels lighter and brighter and different, and appeals to women and to men.”
“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 that we had another approach,” the executive said.
After Mulvaney’s transition journey titled “365 Days of Girlhood,” Bud Light sent the activist a custom-made can featuring Mulvaney’s face, which was posted to the activist’s Instagram account on April 1 with the hashtag #budlightpatner.
Mulvaney then posted a video in a bathtub with the beer.
The video and partnership caused a furious response from many fans of the beer and the brand’s parent company issued a statement on the matter.
The statement came as the company’s stock is crumbling, but the CEO never mentioned Mulvaney by name.
— Anheuser-Busch (@AnheuserBusch) April 14, 2023
“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. 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,” he said. “We never intended to be part of a discussion that divides people. We are in the business of bringing people together over a beer.”
“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. As CEO of Anheuser-Busch, I am focused on building and protecting our remarkable history and heritage. 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. Moving forward, I will continue to work tirelessly to bring great beers to consumers across our nation,” he said.
This week conservative investigative journalist James O’Keefe confronted Mulvaney, seeking an answer to a simple question that the activist ran from, The Daily Wire reported.
“O’Keefe sought Mulvaney’s reaction to a report that the journalist released this week regarding male inmates who are allegedly abusing the correctional system in Washington state by claiming they are transgender so they can be put in a prison for women,” it said.
O’Keefe waited for Mulvaney outside of a women’s bathroom before asking the influencer to comment.
“Dylan Mulvaney is inside the women’s restroom right now,” the reporter said. “So, I’m going to ask him for comment about our story regarding women being raped in prison by men claiming to be transgender.”
“Women are being raped in a prison in Washington state by men claiming to be transgender,” he said. “There’s footage of them talking about the rape. Do you have a comment on the story of the women being raped by the men claiming to be transgender?”
For many people condemning prisoners lying about their gender identity and raping women would be a simple one to disavow, but not for Mulvaney who ran to the elevator.
“What do you think about the women who are being raped by the men who are transgender?” the reporter said. “Do you have a comment about that?”
But Mulvaney snapped at O’Keefe, demanding to be left alone.