Bud Light has partnered with Shane Gillis, a comedian who was fired from Saturday Night Live over racist and homophobic comments, almost a year after the brand faced widespread boycott calls over a partnership with trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney.
Bud Light parent company Anheuser-Busch InBev joined forces with Gillis, who was sacked by SNL in 2019 shortly after joining the show over offensive past comments, for a sponsored post on social media this week.
In a 2018 episode of his podcast, the comedian raged about “white f****t comics” who are “f***ing gayer than Isis”. He also described Chinese immigrants as “f**king c**nks”.
Gillis was let go from SNL before appearing on screen, with a spokesperson for show creator Lorne Michaels saying at the time: “We were not aware of his prior remarks that have surfaced over the past few days. The language is offensive, hurtful and unacceptable. We are sorry we did not see these clips earlier, and that our vetting process was not up to standard. “
Gillis, who failed to apologise for the remarks at the time, instead saying they were examples of him being a “comedian who pushes boundaries”. He announced his partnership with Bud Light on Instagram on Tuesday (30 January).
Many user comments on the post made reference to Bud Light’s backlash for working with trans influencer Mulvaney, who promoted the brand on her Instagram page last April.
Her post sparked a flood of transphobic responses, including right-wingers smashing displays in shops, bars refusing to sell the beer, and, in the case of Trump-supporting musician Kid Rock, shooting cans of the brew.
One person wrote on social media: “Bud light trying so hard not to be gay,” while another commented: “Dylan mulshaney”.
Bud’s latest move comes after Michel Doukeris, the chief executive of Anheuser-Busch InBev, while announcing the company’s second-quarter earnings, said they would avoid making political statements and “concentrate on the platforms that all consumers love, such as [the] NFL and music”.
Following the comments, the Ultimate Fighting Championship became the largest sponsor of the beer, despite its chief executive and president, Dana White, defending former middleweight champion Sean Strickland after the mixed martial artist faced a backlash for making homophobic and transphobic comments.
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