Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz called during a “Fox & Friends” appearance for the beer industry’s self-regulatory body, the Beer Institute, to investigate Anheuser-Busch for allegedly “marketing to children” by partnering with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney.
Cruz, along with Republican Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn, sent a letter to the Beer Institute alleging that Bud Light and its parent company Annheser-Busch intentionally marketed to teenagers, who make up the majority of Mulvaney’s audience on TikTok.
“I can’t think of a company in modern times that has alienated its customer base and seems to have little understand[ing] of who actually drinks Bud Light,” Cruz said.
The company partnered with Mulvaney in April and created a specialized can with the influencer’s photo, pronouns and a slogan which read, “celebrate everyone’s identity.”
“Budweiser was trying, I believe, with an ill-fated marketing attempt, to target teenagers. If you look at things Dylan Mulvaney has online, it’s things like ‘Days of Girlhood,'” the senator continued. “There’s another video where Dylan Mulvaney is singing ‘I am Eloise, and I am six.’ There’s another one where Dylan Mulvaney is shopping for Barbie dolls. These are clearly things aimed at teenagers and even children younger than teenagers, which violates the rules. So we’re calling on the Beer Institute to investigate the degree to which Anheuser-Busch was knowingly marketing to children in going down this road.”
Cruz and Blackburn’s letter stated the company’s partnership with an influencer appealing to children “warrants detailed oversight by Congress,” and accused the company of failing to uphold its “appropriate due diligence.” (RELATED: Here Are All The Conservative-Leaning Outlets That Call Dylan Mulvaney A ‘She’)
“We believe that Anheuser-Busch’s clear failure to exercise appropriate due diligence when selecting online influencers for its marketing efforts warrants detailed oversight by Congress,” the letter reads. “To that end, this letter includes a series of document requests that will help clarify how Anheuser-Busch vets its partnerships and how Anheuser-Busch failed in assessing the propriety of a partnership with Dylan Mulvaney.”
Anheuser-Busch CEO Brendan Whitworth said in an April 14 statement that the company “never intended” to be part of a divisive discussion. Nevertheless, it appeared to double down on the Mulvaney partnership by saying it partners with a wide variety of influencers. Two Anheuser-Busch executives took involuntary leave of absences following customer backlash to the Mulvaney incident.