Brendan Whitworth, chief executive officer of Anheuser-Busch, addressed the controversy surrounding the marketing campaign featuring male-to-female transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney.
The head of Bud Light’s parent company argued that he was proud of the brewer’s history as part of “the fabric of this country” for over 165 years and employing “more than 18,000 people.”
“It sounds like Whitworth used artificial intelligence to craft a statement that failed to address the issue at hand — that the beer company made a grave mistake partnering with a trans activist,” said national radio host Todd Starnes.
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He also stressed that Anheuser-Busch supports the “military, first responders, sports fans and hard-working Americans everywhere,” as well as helping employ 47,000 through independent distributors.
“We never intended to be part of a discussion that divides people,” Whitworth claimed. “We are in the business of bringing people together over a beer.”
Whitworth later stressed his military experience. He served three years in the U.S. Marine Corps before joining the Central Intelligence Agency’s National Counterterrorism Center for another five.
“As CEO of Anheuser-Busch, I am focused on building and protecting our remarkable history and heritage,” the executive wrote. “I spend much of my time traveling across America, listening to and learning from our customers, distributors and others.
“Moving forward, I will continue to work tirelessly to bring great beers to consumers across our nation,” he added.
But some commenters were unimpressed with Whitworth’s comments.
“This is 200 words of nothing,” said Jake Schneider, the Republican National Committee’s deputy rapid response director.
“They could simply issue an apology and say that from now on they are going to get out of politics and sell beers, but they seem to want to keep on lecturing,” Americano Media senior editor Emmanuel Rincón posted on Twitter.
Whitworth’s response comes after the company suffered backlash from running a TikTok advertising campaign with Mulvaney. From March 31 until Wednesday, the beer giant saw its value plummet more than $5 billion.