In April, a bunch of people bought Bud Light to promote a boycott of the drink. It wasn’t the work of teetotaling Baptists but because of outrage after the company sent some beers to a transgender TikTok personality. It’s a common marketing tactic: send free samples of your product to some online influencers in hopes they will show themselves trying the product in front of their audience. So Bud Light sends beers to lots of niche influencers (though they’ve not yet sent a six-pack to A Public Witness).
But after Dylan Mulvaney posted an online video drinking the Bud Light and mentioning the free gift, it found its way into conservative media where commentators pounced on the beer maker for promoting “transgenderism.” The story quickly went viral and culture warriors started shooting at Bud Light — literally. The 90s rocker Kid Rock (no longer actually a kid) posted a video of himself shooting up cases of Bud Light, apparently not realizing the company makes the same amount of money regardless of whether you drink the beer or shoot it. Others also took their turn at buying and shooting Bud Light cans, including former NFL player Trae Waynes and model Bri Teresi who declared “go woke, go broke.”
Commentators and politicians also weighed in to denounce Bud Light. Echoing the slogan of this boycott movement, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas tweeted, “Go woke. Go broke.” And even with the cans bought just to shoot, the whole controversy really did hurt sales of Bud Light. And multiple Anheuser-Busch facilities faced bomb threats.
But the culture warriors are not merely basking in the hangover of their victory. They’re picking new fights. In the last couple of weeks, both Target and Kohl’s found themselves in the bullseye of boycott calls for selling LGBTQ Pride Month clothes. Put these controversies together and somehow buying a Bud Light at Target is about the worst sin someone can commit now. Target gave in to the pressure and pulled some items. But its stock value dropped and police in multiple states are investigating bomb threats made against Target stores.
Now there’s a new company facing criticism for allegedly going “woke.” Chick-fil-A.
Stop laughing. There really are some conservatives claiming the fast-food chain that closes on Sunday to honor the Sabbath and that has donated millions to groups opposing same-sex marriage has now gone “woke.” Many of the attacks even blast the company for tying its Christian values with efforts to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion.
With this new controversy erupting this week, the critics of Chick-fil-A show the absurdity of commentators and politicians who find “wokeness” behind every company without even knowing what the term “woke” actually means. So this issue of A Public Witness will taste the newest corporate controversy being fried up on social media and then digest the warning this “anti-woke” effort should signal for Christians.
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