If you’ve spent any time on the internet this week, you’ve probably seen the viral video of Kid Rock — near a lake and wearing a gray “MAGA” cap on backward — shooting at a table topped with a stack of Bud Light cans with an assault-style rifle.
“Let me say something to all of you and be as clear and concise as possible,” he says in the short clip, which has been viewed nearly 50 million times since it was posted to Twitter on Tuesday night. He then opens fire on the beer cans and adds: “F*** Bud Light. And f*** Anheuser-Busch.”
So, you might be wondering, why is Kid Rock shooting Bud Light cans with an assault-style rifle and cursing out the beer and its parent company?
Well, the answer, as it turns out, is fairly simple and has nothing to do with the country-rock performer’s taste in domestic beer.
What triggered Kid Rock?
On Saturday, Dylan Mulvaney, a transgender actress, activist and influencer, posted a video to Instagram promoting Bud Light as part of a sponsored partnership with the brand.
In the video, Mulvaney appears dressed as Holly Golightly, Audrey Hepburn’s character in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” showing off a custom Bud Light can with her face on it. The company sent it to her, she said, to help her celebrate one year of “girlhood” — a milestone she recently reached in her transitioning.
Right-wing media figures, including some on Fox News, quickly called for a boycott of Bud Light and Anheuser-Busch, the St. Louis-based company that produces over 100 beer brands, including Budweiser, Busch, Michelob Ultra and Stella Artois.
Who else is boycotting Bud Light?
On Wednesday, country music star Travis Tritt announced a boycott of all Anheuser-Busch products.
“I will be deleting all Anheuser-Busch products from my tour hospitality rider. I know many other artists who are doing the same,” Tritt wrote on Twitter. “Other artists who are deleting Anheuser-Busch products from their hospitality rider might not say so in public for fear of being ridiculed and cancelled. I have no such fear.”
“In full disclosure, I was on a tour sponsored by Budweiser in the ’90s,” he continued. “That was when Anheuser-Busch was American owned. A great American company that later sold out to the Europeans and became unrecognizable to the American consumer. Such a shame.”
Tritt also posted a photo of a Jack Daniels ad campaign featuring contestants from the “Ru Paul’s Drag Race” reality series.
“All the @JackDaniels_US drinkers should take note,” Tritt tweeted.
Why is Mulvaney so popular?
Mulvaney is one the most visible trans activists on the internet, amassing more than 1.7 million followers on Instagram and nearly 11 million on TikTok.
Her popular TikTok series "365 Days of Girlhood" — in which she meticulously chronicles her experience of transitioning — has attracted sponsorships from other high-profile brands, including Nike.
Anheuser-Busch, for its part, defended its collaboration with Mulvaney.
“Anheuser-Busch works with hundreds of influencers across our brands as one of many ways to authentically connect with audiences across various demographics,” the company said in a statement. “From time to time we produce unique commemorative cans for fans and for brand influencers, like Dylan Mulvaney. This commemorative can was a gift to celebrate a personal milestone and is not for sale to the general public.”