Who is Dylan Mulvaney? Fellow comedian Ian Havie says Bud Light isn’t ‘genuine’

·4-min read
Dylan Mulvaney attends the Miscast23 gala at Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City on April 3  (Getty Images)
Dylan Mulvaney attends the Miscast23 gala at Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City on April 3 (Getty Images)

Transgender comedian Ian Harvie has revealed that he believes Bud Light “was never genuine” and used hot-topic issues to make money.

Slamming the company for failing to support Dylan Mulvaney in the aftermath of their brand partnership, Harvie told Ad Age that he never felt Anheuser-Busch was a genuine ally to transgender people. Like Mulvaney, Harvie was featured also featured in a Bud Light commercial, in 2016.

His comments come after Anheuser-Busch, the group that owns Bud Light, placed two executives on leave, after they managed the beer company’s sponsorship of two Instagram posts from transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney, according to media reports.

These executives were Bud Light’s vice president of marketing, Alissa Heinerscheid, and Daniel Blake, Anheuser-Busch’s vice president, who oversees the market for mainstream brands, according to the Wall Street Journal.

"Given the circumstances, Alissa has decided to take a leave of absence which we support," an Anheuser-Busch spokesperson said in the email reported by the media. "Daniel has also decided to take a leave of absence."

Mulvaney, 26, posted images of customised beer cans with her face on to promote the US brand. Her Nike campaign involved her advertising sports bras.

The TikTok star’s face was seen by millions over the Easter weekend as she fronted the Bud Light marketing campaign days after a Nike promotion.

However, these have not been completely positive experiences for her, with some online trolls criticising Mulvaney over the adverts.

Mulvaney is also now being subject to more criticism for adverts she posted months ago, including several makeup promotions with Maybelline and MAC. Conservative media commentator Jordan Peterson was among those encouraging his followers to “boycott Maybelline”.

Mulvaney advertises Bud Light on Instagram (Instagram/Dylanmulvaney)
Mulvaney advertises Bud Light on Instagram (Instagram/Dylanmulvaney)

Who is Dylan Mulvaney?

Mulvaney is a US actress and comedian. She has become a well-known face, particularly to Gen Z, through her Instagram and TikTok videos.

Raised as a boy in a family she told Variety magazine was conservative, Mulvaney starred in the stage musical The Book of Mormon. She also had roles in other plays during the late 2010s as her profile grew.

Mulvaney came out as a trans woman during the Covid-19 pandemic. But, while she has been living as a woman for only a year, she said she had felt female since childhood. She considers March 13, 2022, as her first day of being a woman.

She told Variety: “I came out to my mom at [age] four. I told her, ‘I’m a girl.’ We were very, very religious so she was like, ‘God doesn’t make mistakes.’ But I didn’t know that I could transition. I didn’t know that there were options or resources.”

Mulvaney has shared her journey on social media and celebrated her anniversary of being a girl last month. Since then, she has showcased her femininity through an appearance at the Grammy Awards and interviews.

Following her transition, Mulvaney has used both she/her and they/them pronouns.

On coming out, she told the New York Observer: “I downloaded TikTok, assuming it was a kids’ app. Once I came out as a woman, I made this ‘day one of being a girl’ comedic video.

“And it blew up. I really don’t know another place online like TikTok that can make a creator grow at the rate that it does.”

She now has more than 10 million followers on TikTok.

Why has Dylan Mulvaney attracted criticism?

Mulvaney’s profile blew up when she met President Joe Biden at a presidential forum for NowThis News and the pair discussed gender issues. After they both condemned transgender legislation favoured by Republicans, she became a target of online trolls and more mainstream opponents.

“Dylan Mulvaney, Joe Biden, and radical left-wing lunatics want to make this absurdity normal,” tweeted Republican senator Marsha Blackburn after the presidential visit.

Mulvaney was this month given further mainstream exposure when she became the face of two major advertising campaigns.

Nike and Bud Light campaigns

Firstly, on April 6, she dressed in leggings and a sports bra while doing yoga to advertise Nike Women. The promotion was the subject of a fiery debate on GB News.

Then, over the Easter weekend, she posted the Bud Light campaign on her Instagram. This led to further discussion about her credentials.

Conservative-aligned musician Kid Rock filmed himself shooting Bud Light beer cans in response. Country musician Travis Tritt said he would boycott the brand.

Mulvaney told podcast host Rosie O’Donnell: “The reason that I think I am so … I’m an easy target is because I’m so new to this.

“I think going after a trans woman that’s been doing this for like 20 years is a lot more difficult. I think maybe they think that there’s some sort of chance with me … But what is their goal?”