Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) this week opened a Senate investigation into his allegations that Anheuser-Busch markets Bud Light to underage consumers in its ad featuring transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney.
In a letter to Anheuser-Busch CEO Brendan Whitworth, Cruz and Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) also asked the beer industry trade group Beer Institute, which Whitworth chairs, to conduct its own investigation. Or the company could say it’s sorry for any infraction and publicly disassociate from Mulvaney to avoid further inquiry, the senators wrote, making their actions appear more like a publicity stunt.
“We would urge you, in your capacity at Anheuser-Busch, to avoid a lengthy investigation by the Beer Institute by instead having Anheuser-Busch publicly sever its relationship with Dylan Mulvaney, publicly apologize to the American people for marketing alcoholic beverages to minors, and direct Dylan Mulvaney to remove any Anheuser-Busch content from his social media platforms.” (The letter repeatedly misgenders Mulvaney, who uses she-they pronouns.)
Mulvaney, a 26-year-old actor who chronicled her transition to a wide audience on TikTok, appeared in a one-off Instagram post promoting Bud Light for March Madness. She showed off a can with her likeness that the brand made especially for her.
The post set off a conservative frenzy, resulting in a boycott that has sent Bud Light sales swooning.
Cruz and Blackburn focused their complaint on the title of Mulvaney’s TikTok series, “Days of Girlhood,” and her use of the word “girl” elsewhere.
“The use of the phrase ‘Girlhood’ was not a slip of the tongue but rather emblematic of a series of Mulvaney’s online content that was specifically used to target, market to, and attract an audience of young people who are well below the legal drinking age in the United States,” the senators claimed.
The letter outlined some of Mulvaney’s TikTok videos that the senators said prove Mulvaney’s appeal skewing toward viewers too young to legally drink beer.
Mulvaney said last week that she’s been feeling the backlash.
“What’s sad is my page for like a second was a pretty safe space, and then it sort’ve recently has become this like culture war in the comments,” Mulvaney said.
Cruz took his case to a receptive audience on “Fox and Friends” Thursday: