Anheuser-Busch CEO Brendan Whitworth distanced his company from Mulvaney. He said in the days following the backlash, that the company “never intended” to be a part of a debate that divided people. A week later, Anheuser-Busch confirms media reports stating that two marketing executives involved with the campaign are taking leave.
Drennen stated that Walsh’s increased national recognition for his efforts to limit transition-related medical treatment for minors is part of the reason he is getting traction. In February, Mississippi Governor. Tate Reeves asked Walsh to speak before Reeves signed the bill that would ban transitional care for minors. NBC News reported earlier that month that Walsh’s advocacy influenced Tennessee to reject over $8 million in federal funding to combat HIV.
Drennen stated that “all of this is coordinated effort to make it untenable for trans people to be in public.” “And they’ve tried to do this by removing all political support and any corporate support — basically making it unaffordable to be allied to the trans community.” “I think the main connective tissue is that.”
She also said that Fox News featured a new North Face Campaign featuring drag performer Pattie in a segment that aired on Wednesday. Candace Owens, a conservative commentator, announced on Thursday during her Daily Wire Show, that due to the North Face campaign, there would be “nothing in my house that is from North Face”.
Bob Witeck is the president of Witeck Communications. A firm that specializes in LGBTQ marketing. He said while the controversies around Bud Light and Target may have been “created” a few people, social media and certain news outlets amplified them.
Witeck explained that controversies started by a few people are spread more quickly today. He said that Ben Shapiro was responsible for a part of the conservative reaction to Bud Light’s Dylan Mulvaney Campaign. Other right-wing voices, as well as news, picked it up. Shapiro did not immediately return a request for comment.
He said that conversations about LGBTQ people are “distorted very quickly” at a moment when LGBTQ issues have become more visible. Witeck said that LGBTQ advocates will continue to file legal challenges against anti LGBT laws, because they violate the Supreme Court’s decision in Bostock V. Clayton County. This ruling from 2020 held that gay and transgender workers are protected under Title VII of Civil Rights Act of 1964. This decision was a catalyst for many conservative grassroots activists.
He said that the media was making it easier for them to portray the negative reactions to Target and Bud Light. “These aren’t their main issues,” he added.
Laurel Powell is the director of communications at the Human Rights Campaign in the U.S. She said that “far-right extremists see an opportunity” and this is why conservatives have responded more strongly to Target’s Pride Month Collection.
Powell stated that “we’re coming out of the most hostile, dangerous legislative season in terms of anti-LGBTQ+ laws.” We live in a nation where one of the major social media platforms has become an alt right platform. They see an opening, but they will soon discover that they are not in step with most Americans. They are not in step with the majority of people that believe LGBTQ+ people deserve to be free of discrimination.
In 2016, many major corporations including American Airlines , Apple, Microsoft eBay, and Nike , signed an amicus brief in support of efforts by the Justice Department to block North Carolina’s “bathroom law” which prohibited trans people from using bathrooms that did not match their gender on birth certificates.
Seven years on, American companies and the American public have become more accepting of LGBTQ individuals, both through their internal policies as well as public marketing campaigns. Witeck, however, said that the biggest difference between now and then is that legislators have proposed more than 500 bills restricting LGBTQ rights across dozens of state.
Witeck stated that “in 2016, only one state did something new, which other states didn’t do.” Even 10 of the proposed bills this year are difficult to oppose, and “most major corporations have their headquarters in all those states.”
Witeck stated that he expected Pride Month to be “militant” this year, because LGBTQ people are anxious.
He said that corporate allyship would be put to the test like never before. “Allies must be ready to stand up for their values and grow some spines.”