Kid Rock joins transphobic backlash to Bud Light’s partnership with Dylan Mulvaney

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Kid Rock posted a video of himself on Monday shooting up a stack of Bud Light cases amid backlash over the beer brand’s partnership with actor and transgender rights activist Dylan Mulvaney.

Mulvaney, a comedian and musical theater actor based in Hollywood, has been sharing her gender-transition journey over the last year via the episodic TikTok series “Days of Girlhood.” To celebrate her 365th day of the series, Bud Light sent Mulvaney a can with her face on it.

When Mulvaney shared a video on Saturday announcing the collaboration and pitching a Bud Light contest, the campaign became a target of conservative backlash, with many disparaging the TikToker’s trans identity.

Although Kid Rock’s video — which he posted Monday night on his Instagram, Facebook and Twitter pages — didn’t have a caption, the timing made the message apparent.

The video begins with Kid Rock’s back to the camera, the letters “MAGA” emblazoned on his worn-backward baseball cap. He turns around and says, “Grandpa’s feeling a little frisky today — let me say something to all of you and be as clear and concise as possible.”

The camera pulls back to reveal Kid Rock (real name Robert Ritchie) holding a small rifle. He aims the gun at three cases of Bud Light sitting on a table in front of a lake and unloads dozens of shots at the cans. He turns back around, flips off the camera and offers a parting message: “F— Bud Light. F— Anheuser-Busch. Have a terrific day.”

Anheuser-Busch defended its partnership with Mulvaney in a statement sent to The Times, writing that the company “works with hundreds of influencers across our brands as one of many ways to authentically connect with audiences across various demographics.”

“From time to time we produce unique commemorative cans for fans and for brand influencers, like Dylan Mulvaney,” Anheuser-Busch said. “This commemorative can was a gift to celebrate a personal milestone and is not for sale to the general public.”

The Belgian-owned beer giant in recent years has not shied away from pro-LGBTQ marketing. It previously partnered with LGBTQ organizations such as GLAAD in 2019 to celebrate Pride Month in the U.S. and the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce last year to help support LGBTQ-owned businesses amid post-pandemic reopenings.

However, Anheuser-Busch has also faced criticism for its reported financial contributions to politicians who have supported anti-LGBTQ legislation, according to a 2021 study. The owners of historic New York City gay bar Stonewall Inn protested the findings by pouring Bud Lights down the drain during Pride weekend that year.

Representatives for Kid Rock and Mulvaney could not be reached Tuesday.

Kid Rock, an ardent Trump supporter who has hurled a homophobic slur at a performance, has attacked the transgender community in the past. During a 2017 speech in Detroit, while teasing a possible run for Michigan’s Senate, Kid Rock said transgender people “shouldn’t get to choose” which bathroom they use.

“Because whatever you have between your legs should determine the bathroom that you use,” he added.

This week, some users online praised the singer’s message for Bud Light, including Nick Adams, a surrogate for former President Trump during the 2020 election who has made anti-LGBTQ statements, exclaiming on Twitter, “Thank you for joining the boycott, Kid!”

The hashtag #BoycottBudLight had trended in reaction to Mulvaney’s Saturday video. On Tuesday, the phrase “Love Kid Rock” trended as well.

Others came to Mulvaney‘s defense, including background actor Damon Gonzalez, who asked, “Why are y’all triggered by trans folks?”

“Do you know trans people drink beer too?” he continued. “Are you aware irresponsible actions like this glorify gun violence? Find love in your heart for all.”

Another invited Kid Rock to therapy, to help him “get in touch with all these emotions you don’t quite know how to handle.”

“It allows you to be more compassionate with yourself and others — to use your words, not violence or intimidation,” the user wrote. “Trans people haven’t done anything to you, homie. They just want to live.”

Mulvaney sat down with President Biden last October for a chat about trans rights. Then she sat with Drew Barrymore last month for a televised conversation about online hate that wound up sparking online turmoil. Some criticized Barrymore and some defended her for sitting briefly at Mulvaney’s feet. Mulvaney quickly joined the talk host on the floor.

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