TikTok star Dylan Mulvaney felt the full force of some conservatives’ fantastical hatred of trans people this month after a seemingly innocuous partnership with Bud Light turned into a weeks-long fiasco that included bomb threats to breweries.
She returned after she gave the haters time to “tucker themselves out,” a wink to recently-fired Fox News chud Tucker Carlson.
Mulvaney posted on Instagram:
I’ve been offline for a few weeks and a lot has been said about me, some of which is so far from my truth, that I was hearing my name, and I didn’t even know who they were talking about sometimes.
Then I remembered nearly 13 million people enjoyed me enough at some point to hit the follow button on these apps, and I was like, “Wait, I wanna talk to those people.”
I’m doing OK. I’m trying this new thing where I don’t pressure myself to share anything before I’m ready. I’m sitting with my emotions, not reacting … shockingly, I can’t recommend it more.“
She also said the people-pleasing part of herself is pretty much dead.
In the long run, the vicious personal attacks on someone embraced and beloved by many younger people will backfire. The drop in Bud Light sales due to boycotts may have short-term impacts for trans influencer sponsorships and for the people involved in making the commemorative can. I think the can is what set most people off. We used to make custom labels for specific states like Texas because Texans were more likely to buy Bud Light if the label had a Texas state shape on it, but we would never have dreamed of putting anyone’s face on a bottle or can. There is no public figure uncontroversial enough to associate someone so closely with your brand.
Celebrity endorsements are always a risky proposition. Ask Hertz about OJ Simpson or Jell-O about Bill Cosby. That’s why we almost always did characters back in the day.
Fun fact: back in the day I shot a Super Bowl ad with the Bud Light Ladies Night Guys, a beloved long-running campaign with four regular guys in drag that was a huge hit in the 1990s. Mainstream America loves drag and gender diversity under certain conditions, but you gotta read the room.
Image: Instagram / Dylan Mulvaney