LGBTQ+ group suspends Bud Light maker's rating over handling of backlash to transgender influencer
WASHINGTON (AP) — The country's largest advocacy group for LGBTQ+ rights has suspended its benchmark equality and inclusion rating for Anheuser-Busch, citing the beer company's handling of the hate-filled and transphobic backlash to its partnership with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney last month.
The Human Rights Campaign informed the Bud Light maker that it suspended the company's 2022 Corporate Equality Index score — a tool that measures corporate policies, practices and benefits related to the well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer employees — on May 9, according to a letter shared with the The Associated Press on Friday.
The suspension of Anheuser-Busch’s CEI score means that the company “no longer has the right to use the ‘Best Places to Work’ distinction,” HRC’s letter says. Prior to the suspension, Anheuser-Busch had a CEI score of 100, the group's top rating.
“What we're seeing play out here is an example of companies making a decision to have and construct inclusive marketing, which is great — but a business should be standing by those decisions,” Eric Bloem, HRC’s senior director of programs and corporate advocacy, told The Associated Press. “The Anheuser-Busch (case) is a textbook example of what not to do.”
On April 1, as part of a March promotional contest for the beer brand, Mulvaney posted a Instagram video of herself cracking open a Bud Light.
A cascade of criticism and hate surrounding the video soon erupted, notably among conservative figures — with Kid Rock posting a video of himself shooting cases of Bud Light and others calling for a boycott of the brand. In the following weeks, the beer brand's sales also fell slightly and two marketing executives at Anheuser-Busch took a leave of absence.
In an April 14 statement,...