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Bud Light 'insulted main street America' and must take these steps to recover from backlash, lawmakers say

U.S. lawmakers react to Bud Light laying off hundreds of workers, and whether the company "deserves" the continued backlash in wake of the Dylan Mulvaney controversy.

Anheuser-Busch, the parent company of Bud Light, announced that it laid off hundreds of corporate workers as fallout continues following their partnership with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney.

"Today we took the very difficult but necessary decision to eliminate a number of positions across our corporate organization," Anheuser-Busch CEO Brendan Whitworth said Wednesday. "While we never take these decisions lightly, we want to ensure that our organization continues to be set for future long-term success. These corporate structure changes will enable our teams to focus on what we do best — brewing great beer for everyone."

The layoffs will not include frontline staff such as "brewery and warehouse staff, drivers, and field sales, among others," the company said. 

Bud Light has also lost its spot as the No. 1 selling beer brand on a dollar basis to Modelo Especial.


Some U.S. lawmakers grieved that the company has seemingly lost its "all-American" status, while others said the company does "deserve" the backlash it's received since choosing to have a trans influencer as its spokesperson. 

"It's tragic what's happening," Rep. Eric Burlison, R-Mo., told Fox News Digital. "It was a good, American business owned by a great family. As a Missourian, it's sad to see people lose their jobs because of the mistake that was made by Anheuser-Busch, and hopefully they'll course correct and be able to return to the greatness that they were."

"I don't think there's any question at all they've insulted main street America," Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., told Fox Digital. "And when your advertising and promotion insults people, they react. I think it's appropriate. There's no one leading the charge, but people are making decisions simply to drink a different brand. And I think for Anheuser-Busch… They should wise up and get out of politics."

"Yes, they deserve the backlash," Rep. Ralph Norman, R-S.C., said. "To do what they did, somebody had to sign off on it. It shows you it has consequences. The American people are telling Bud Light that what they did was wrong, and they're not putting up with it. It's accountability that's missing, and consequences."


A few other representatives said the company had the right to proceed however they chose, while hopefully keeping the consequences in mind.

"I think Bud Light has the right to run their company how they want to run their company and if it has upside it has an upside and if it has a downside it has a downside," Rep. John Duarte, R-Calif., said. "It's their company."

"At the end of the day, the private sector has the right to do whatever they're going to do, I don't think the government has any say in this whatsoever," Rep. Cory Mills, R-Fla., agreed. "I think that's been the biggest problem - government gets involved too much involved in the private sector." 


"You make poor business decisions, and it ends up costing you and your consumer base, and then you're led to do layoffs, you have to stop looking at the top leadership and the decisions that they're making from a marketing perspective, from a product quality insurance, quality control perspective," he continued. "So if they had to lay people off based on their own decisions, that's on them."

"I worry about a lot of things that are happening in America, but using trans kids to score political points isn't one of them, and I'll just leave it at that," Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., told Fox Digital.

The lawmakers suggested how Bud Light could start to win back its customers, starting with going back to marketing basics.

"I think what they should do is get out of playing any part of the culture wars," Issa offered. "Don't participate on either side, and you'll do just fine. Ultimately, Anheuser-Busch for decades was the all-American brand of beer. And I advise them to go back to being an all-American brand. Cherish what is America, and stay out of the politics of the left or the right."

"This is a message for every business," Burlison said. "Stick to the product that you're selling. Tell us why it's the best beer in America. Stick to that kind of advertising. That will sell beer. If businesses just stayed in their lane, and just stopped trying to become political, they'd find that they don't end up in this situation."

"Time will tell," if Bud Light can win back its customers, Norman said. "I think they've learned a lesson. It's probably no one person, but somebody signed off on that. So, they got what was coming to them."

Anheuser-Busch has not responded to request for comment.

Fox News' Nikolas Lanum contributed to this report. 

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