Dylan Mulvaney cracks joke about Bud Light controversy in award acceptance speech: ‘I’m going to have a beer’

Dylan Mulvaney has made subtle reference to the Bud Light controversy in her acceptance speech at the 2023 Streamy Awards.

The social media influencer, 26, took home the award for Breakout Creator at the 27 August awards ceremony, which celebrates the achievements of online media and content creators. Mulvaney - who faced anti-trans backlash in April after she shared a sponsored post for the Anheuser-Busch company - expressed her support for the transgender community in her acceptance speech.

“I’m really shocked because I thought the only award I’d ever win was maybe a Tony Award but now I’m a musical theatre gal with a Streamy,” Mulvaney said while accepting the award. She beat out fellow TikTok stars Alix Earle and Jake Shane, as well as Drew Afualo and Keith Lee.

Mulvaney - who boasts 10.6m followers on TikTok - rose to fame on the platform for documenting her transition, marking each day “of being a girl”. In her speech, Mulvaney noted that 532 days ago, she posted “a coming out video that turned into my Days of Girlhood series and my life has been changed for the better”.

“But on the flip side, there’s also been an extreme amount of transphobia and hate, and I know that my community is feeling it,” she continued, before calling on allies “to support trans people publicly and proudly”.

Mulvaney went on to explain that the trans community and the “creator community” have one thing in common because “people often underestimate” them, adding that “we can stay optimistic about just the future of transness in general because if we can influence people to buy $22 Erewhon smoothies, we can also do this”.

As she closed out her acceptance speech, the social media star seemingly poked fun at the Bud Light controversy that launched a conservative boycott of the beer company. “I’m going to go have a beer and I love you,” Mulvaney quipped.

On 1 April, the social media star shared a video to Instagram promoting Bud Light’s March Madness contest. In the video, Mulvaney was dressed like Audrey Hepburn’s character in Breakfast at Tiffany’s as she filmed herself with multiple cans of Bud Light. The influencer also noted that, in celebration of her 365th day of “womanhood,” the company sent her a can of Bud Light with her face on it.

The video instantly received backlash from conservative politicians and celebrities, including Kid Rock and Travis Tritt. Others called for a boycott of the beer, and filmed videos of themselves smashing or shooting at cases of Budweiser products. Anheuser-Busch, the producer of Budweiser beers, issued a statement in response to the boycott, saying that they “never intended to be part of a discussion that divides people”.

"We have thousands of partners, millions of fans and a proud history supporting our communities, military, first responders, sports fans and hard-working Americans everywhere," said CEO Brendan Whitworth. "We never intended to be part of a discussion that divides people. We are in the business of bringing people together over a beer."

However, after claiming that Bud Light “should be all about bringing people together,” he declined to answer directly when asked whether the campaign featuring Mulvaney was a mistake.

Mulvaney later accused Bud Light of failing to support her amid the transphobic backlash she’s faced since partnering with the brand. “For a company to hire a trans person and then not publicly stand by them is worse, in my opinion, than not hiring a trans person at all,” she said in a TikTok video posted in July.

According to Mulvaney, she had initially waited for the brand to “reach out” to her before posting her video, but claimed no one from the company had contacted her. She went on to describe how her mental health and everyday life have been negatively impacted by the transphobic backlash.

“For months now, I’ve been scared to leave my house. I have been ridiculed in public. I’ve been followed,” she said. “And I have felt a loneliness that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. If this is my experience from a very privileged perspective, know that it is much, much worse for other trans people.”

Mulvaney also said she believes the brand’s failure to condemn the backlash gave customers “permission” to be “as transphobic and hateful as they want,” and acknowledged how the “hate” towards transgender people “doesn’t end with” her.

She then sent a message to her followers: “I need you to care about every trans person and I need you to support us and stand by us.”