Dylan Mulvaney, a transgender influencer with a sizeable following, recently unleashed a viral video capturing the months of fear, isolation, and relentless harassment she endured in the wake of her partnership with Bud Light. Despite the nationwide boycott by conservative hardliners failing to catch on, Mulvaney fell victim to aggressive criticism and threats that kept her barricaded in her home.
Back in April, Mulvaney partnered with Bud Light for a sponsored Instagram post in honor of March Madness, not knowing the firestorm that was about to erupt. In the wake of the blowback, the silence from Bud Light has been deafening, leaving her to weather the storm alone.
Ari Drennen of Media Matters for America, a proponent of LGBTQ issues, relayed Mulvaney’s heartfelt video to a broader audience on Twitter. In the video, Dylan laid bare the harrowing ordeal she’s been through, highlighting her genuine love for beer, the shock of the disproportionate backlash from a simple Instagram video, and the eerie silence from Bud Light, the brand she once loved.
Mulvaney, known for her candid online presence, spoke to her followers, “You know that feeling when you have something uncomfy, like, sitting on your chest? That’s how I feel right now, and I’m here to clear the air.” She voiced her incredulity at the backlash over an Instagram video and even shared an anecdote about a personalized Bud Light can with her face on it.
Her aim to spotlight this issue wasn’t to garner pity but to shed light on the harsh reality faced by the trans community. “If this is my experience from a very privileged perspective,” she said, “know that it is much, much worse for other trans people.”
Journalists worldwide expressed their support for Mulvaney, calling out Bud Light for its cold shoulder towards her. NBC senior reporter Ben Collins criticized the disgraceful handling of the incident by news outlets. Editor at The Gambit, John R. Stanton, commented on the inhumanity of the campaign against Dylan, reiterating that a person’s right to exist isn’t a matter of politics. Decider reporter Raven Brunner noted the heartbreakingly transactional nature of brand-influencer relationships.
In essence, Dylan Mulvaney’s story paints a poignant picture of what happens when corporate interests fall short of social responsibility. As informed, compassionate millennials, we should be advocating for companies to step up, act ethically, and truly support the individuals they work with, particularly those in marginalized communities.