(The Hill) — Most beer drinkers support brands working with transgender spokespeople, according to a new poll taken amid conservative criticism over a partnership between Bud Light and transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney.
A Morning Consult poll released Thursday found that 53% of monthly beer drinkers said they would feel favorable toward a brand working with a transgender spokesperson, while only 28% said they would feel unfavorable toward the brand. About 20% said they do not know or have no opinion.
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Those who drink beer at least once a month leaned more Democratic and younger than those who said they do not drink beer at all, but 47% of all adults surveyed said they would also view a company working with a transgender spokesperson favorably. Only 28% said they would view the company unfavorably, while a quarter said they don’t know or have no opinion.
Controversy arose this month after Mulvaney shared a sponsored post on Instagram to promote Bud Light’s March Madness contest. Conservative backlash was swift, with many calling for a protest against Bud Light and Anheuser-Busch, its parent company, over the partnership with Mulvaney.
Musician Kid Rock posted a video of himself on Instagram showing him shooting a rifle at cases of Bud Light beer while criticizing the company.
Anheuser-Busch CEO Brendan Whitworth released a statement after the backlash saying that he is responsible for ensuring “every consumer feels proud of the beer we brew.”
“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,” Whitworth said. “We never intended to be part of a discussion that divides people. We are in the business of bringing people together over a beer.”
Mulvaney said earlier this month that she believes she is an “easy target” for critics because she is “still new to this.”
“But I’ve always tried to love everyone, you know, even the people that make it really, really hard,” Mulvaney said in a video posted on her Instagram and TikTok this week. “And I think it’s OK to be frustrated with someone or confused. But what I’m struggling to understand is the need to dehumanize and to be cruel.”
The Morning Consult poll found that partnerships between brands and transgender influencers are more popular among younger people, with 55% of Generation Z respondents and 50% of millennial respondents saying they would view a company with such a partnership favorably.
Meanwhile, 44% of Generation X and 42% of baby boomers said the same. But at least a clear plurality of all age groups said they would view a company having a partnership with a transgender spokesperson favorably.
The poll was conducted from April 14 to 17 among 4,401 U.S. adults. The margin of error was 1 percentage point.