Kid Rock who ‘Took Out Bud Light’ Bashes Company Boycott with Joe Rogan, Says Anheuser-Busch Wanted ‘Corporate Deal’ with Him

Kid Rock who ‘Took Out Bud Light’ Bashes Company Boycott with Joe Rogan, Says Anheuser-Busch Wanted ‘Corporate Deal’ with Him

Joe Rogan arguably is the most famous podcaster on this earth, and inarguably the most famous one who bases his persona on an intolerance of wokeness. Kid Rock is arguably the guy who got the ball rolling on the Bud Light boycott last year, famously taking a machine gun to a few cases of the swill after the Dylan Mulvaney debacle.

Yet, nearly one year on, the two don’t seem to get why sales haven’t rebounded — with the two calling those still hung up on the matter “trolls” and “losers,” respectively.

It is, in other words, amazing what the celebrity bubble can do to one’s perspective, even those who decry wokeness.

So, just so we’re clear: On April 1, 2023, Bud Light launched a social media promotional campaign with transgender “influencer” Dylan Mulvaney that went over like a warm, skunked version of their product. Arguably, the most iconic moment of the early days of the boycott involved Mr. Rock (legal name Robert James Ritchie) firing a fully automatic weapon at a few cases of Bud Light.

Yet, Mr. Rock was already back to drinking Bud Light as of August of last year and Rogan had already called the boycott “so silly” and asked, rhetorically, “who gives a s***?” during separate podcasts last year. (For what it’s worth, it bears noting that in October, Bud Light announced it was partnering with the Ultimate Fighting Championship as its official beer sponsor; Rogan derives a significant portion of his fame from his role in UFC announcing, although he made the comments about the relative merits of the boycott in August and April, respectively.)

Nevertheless, the boycott persists: As of the week of Jan. 20, data from Bump Williams Consulting and NielsenIQ found Bud Light sales were down 29.9 percent year-over-year, according to Fox Business. This, apparently, continues to amaze both Rogan and Rock, as evinced during an expletive-tastic segment of Rogan’s interview with the music icon during an episode of his show this week, where he called Kid Rock “the dude who took out Bud Light.”

Rock announced that he had planned “to bring a few cases” and that to him, there are “two kinds of beer in this world: cold and free. I like both.”

He went on to say that while the campaign with Mulvaney had him “p***ed” — in the emotional, not intoxicating, sense of the word — “it wasn’t gonna wreck my day … I was just kind of like, what the f*** are they doing?”

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The two then talked about meeting the CEO of Anheuser-Busch, Brendan Whitworth — he of the infamous non-apology apology letter after the Mulvaney campaign began backfiring spectacularly — at a UFC fight:

Again, we’re nearly a year into this, and Whitworth has never directly apologized to customers for wading into the culture war with the ad, thought up by an executive who had derided the beer’s prior advertising (and, by extension, its audience) as “fratty” in a podcast just before the Mulvaney campaign took place.

But Whitworth is, apparently, more than willing to lick the boots of Rogan, Rock and former President Donald Trump, who was with the group as well.

“I met that dude,” Rogan said. “He’s a good guy.”

“We’ve become friends!” Rock insisted. “He’s a great guy after five minutes of talking with him.”

Rock said that during their conversation, Whitworth “was telling me how he got the video, and he was actually down in Texas doing some hunting.” I’ll pause for a moment to let you chuckle at either 1) the credulousness of Rock and/or 2) how much Whitworth, no matter how true the story may be, has worked on honing the narrative that, when the whole Mulvaney fiasco broke, he was shootin’ stuff deep in the heart of Texas.

While Rock said that he wasn’t going to share the particulars of the private conversation — nor is it necessary or desirable for anyone to do that, to be frank — he came away with the impression that Whitworth “seem[ed] like somebody I’d f***ing be friends with.” Rock thus invited him to Nashville for a visit and they “broke bread” and apparently got wasted on Bud Light.

He went on to say that Anheuser-Busch offered him a sponsorship deal, but that he didn’t take it — not out of spite for the brand, mind you, but because “I don’t want any corporate deals, I don’t feel right, there’s not a penny on earth that could make me change who I am or have people look at me in a different way.”

However, he said that “we still talk” and that “when you get to the grassroots of it,” Bud Light “f***ed up” but that it’s still “a great company.”

He added that he went on to explain the issue with the boycott and what the company needed to understand — which indicated that maybe he doesn’t quite understand it, after all.

“I said, it’s just a percentage of these f***ing trolls on the left and on the right, like, ‘I’m so empowered by the internet, and I’m gonna p*** and b**** and moan,’ you know, ‘I have a voice!’ Go f*** yourself,” Rock said.  “If anyone’s still spending time on it, you clearly are f***ing bored. Find something better to do.”

They have. Which is, just not buy Bud Light.

It’s not like there are constant protests, day after day, outside Anheuser-Busch headquarters. People simply decided that Bud Light made a very flagrant pitch to make themselves the official beer of wokeness, and consumers listened and acted accordingly. The same way that Saab became associated with crunchy progressive academics and Abercrombie and Fitch with mindless jocks, Bud Light has now — through the Mulvaney campaign and its inability to say the words “we’re sorry” — become stuck with that image.

Yet, Rogan still believes that refusing to buy or drink Bud Light — and making that preference clear either at stores, pubs or parties — “is definitely a pursuit of losers. But the problem is those losers could actually affect businesses. And that’s what they know. They know now that it’s possible, both on the right and on the left.”

“But they need to know there’s so many more businesses in this country deserving of that treatment,” Rock chimed in. “F***ing Ben and Jerry’s, Starbucks, Target — the list goes on and on.”

The video of the full clip can be found here. Be forewarned, there’s nearly constant swearing throughout. Reader discretion is heavily advised.

Again, Kid Rock and Joe Rogan are usually perceived as conservative allies — and this doesn’t necessarily diminish that to any significant extent, although it demonstrates how impenetrable, sometimes, the celebrity bubble is, even for those perceived to be conservative allies.

Brendan Whitworth, I’m sure, is very nice to Kid Rock and Joe Rogan. He has every reason to be. Maybe he’s a nice guy, period. However, let’s go through the sequence of events here, because it’s worth noting that whether Whitworth is a fun guy to chill with has nothing to do with how badly he and the company he leads botched, and continue to botch, this messaging catastrophe.

First, his company handed Bud Light to a marketing team determined to essentially mock the beer’s typical customer base, which is blue-collar and/or conservative-leaning. Then, in one fell swoop, Mulvaney and Alyssa “Fratty” Heinerscheid proceeded to destroy that. The point was to do that slowly, not all in one go — so maybe you would figure Mulvaney and Heinerscheid were in for huge bonuses for efficiency. (Instead, they were dropped like a hot potato and let go, respectively.)

Whitworth and other Anheuser-Busch InBev executives did anything besides say the words “we screwed up” or “we’re sorry.” They released pathetic, transparent ads pandering to its former customers with tropes like country music and American landmarks.

All that ad is missing is the silhouette of the guy and the two puppet robots in the bottom right of the screen, mocking how ridiculously obvious it was.

The brand tried leaning into sports with its partnerships with UFC and the NFL. It spent untold wads of cash on brand rehabilitation. It’s courted people like Kid Rock, Joe Rogan and Donald Trump.

But they’ve never said, publicly, “we screwed up” or “we’re sorry.” That’s because they can’t. The DEI/ESG trolls, the folks on the corporate left who demand fealty, are already upset enough that they abandoned Mulvaney after the ad campaign blew up. They’d make sure Anheuser-Busch InBev’s bottom line got dinged up if they said those things. It already has been, for that matter. They can’t win either way.

Hence, the story isn’t a bunch of “trolls” and “losers” focusing on one ad when companies like Ben and Jerry’s, Starbucks and Target are more deserving. (And yes, while you’re at it — don’t buy their stuff, either.) Bud Light has become the symbol of corporate America’s capitulation to woke-speak academics in big capital and big government, first because they were determined to remake the image of the (formerly) best-selling beer in America, then because they could only dog-whistle apologies, not issue actual ones. That’s why this wound continues to fester.

Kid Rock can take a machine gun to a few cases of Bud Light and make his feelings on the matter known to hundreds of millions. Joe Rogan has one of the biggest platforms on the planet. For most people, their biggest platforms are who or what they associate with, and how they spend their money.

That doesn’t make them “trolls” or “losers.” That makes them the 99.999 percent (give or take) of the American population, whose biggest leverage with Brendan Whitworth isn’t getting an audience with him at a UFC event like Kid Rock and Joe Rogan did, but whether or not they buy or consume Bud Light. Without the apology, the story — which is the decline of a once-great brand due to a self-inflicted wound Anheuser-Busch InBev refuses to treat — will continue unabated.


This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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