The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), an LGBT advocacy group, suspended its perfect Corporate Equality Index score for Bud Light parent company Anheuser-Busch after the company distanced itself from a partnership with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney, according to USA Today.
The HRC will consider docking Anheuser-Busch’s perfect score if the company doesn’t respond to a letter the group sent to the company within 90 days, according to USA Today. The Corporate Equality Index ranks employers on the basis of its protections from workplace discrimination, inclusive benefits, inclusive culture inside and outside the workplace and responsible citizenship; Anheuser-Busch had a score of 100, meaning the HRC considered it among the “Best Places to Work for LGBTQ+ Equality.”
Anheuser-Busch sent a commemorative beer can to Mulvaney to celebrate the male influencer’s “365 Days of Girlhood” series, sparking boycotts and plummeting sales; the company has since distanced itself from the project and fired the advertising agency it says was responsible for it. (RELATED: REPORT: Bud Light Plans Heavy Marketing Push After Fallout From Dylan Mulvaney Partnership)
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“Anheuser-Busch had a key moment to really stand up and demonstrate the importance of their values of diversity, equity and inclusion and their response really fell short,” Eric Bloem, a senior director at HRC, told the outlet. He characterized the company’s response as a failure to stand up for diversity in the face of attacks on the transgender community.
HRC uses its Corporate Equality Index to pressure corporations to promote pro-LGBT messaging and to penalize companies that stray from its messaging. The group suspended Netflix’s perfect 100 score in 2021 after the platform released comedian Dave Chappelle’s “The Closer,” which included jokes about transgender people.
Bud Light Marketing Vice President Alissa Heinerscheid also took a leave of absence from the company following blowback over the Mulvaney ad and her comments disparaging Bud Light’s prior target demographics. She had publicly expressed the company’s changing direction and said it needed to shed its “fratty” image and change its “out of touch humor.”
“As we look at those pressures on businesses, it all comes back down to understanding that the LGBTQ+ community is part of the fabric of our society,” Bloem told USA Today. “This is not the first time a business has been tested for supporting the LGBTQ+ community. What remains true is that businesses that do stand up for the community in meaningful ways and really live up to their values of allyship succeed.”
Anheuser-Busch and the HRC did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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