Second Bud Light Exec Put on Leave in Aftermath of Company Going Woke: Report


It must be getting bad at Bud Light these days.

The embattled beer company has been the target of a boycott since the beginning of the month, when it went public with a decision that pandering to the “transgender” crowd is more important than loyalty to its customer base.

And executives in the rest of corporate American should be watching closely — if they like their careers.

The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday that Bud Light’s parent company, Belgium-based AB InBev, has placed Daniel Blake, the company’s group vice president for marketing, on a leave of absence.

Blake was next in the chain of command above Alissa Heinerscheid, the vice president for marketing for Bud Light, and the woman who became the public face of the company’s disastrous decision to partner with transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney to sell a beer that is historically associated with normal, blue-collar working Americans

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Heinerscheid’s “leave of absence” was reported last week.

“Given the circumstances, Alissa has decided to take a leave of absence which we support,” an Anheuser-Busch spokeswoman wrote in an email, according to the Journal. “Daniel has also decided to take a leave of absence.”

It might be cynical to think that the two “decided” to take their leaves of absence in the same way that the ex-leaders of the old Soviet Union “decided” to have themselves airbrushed out of photos with Joe Stalin.

But as a matter of fact, the Journal reported, “The decision to take a leave wasn’t voluntary, according to people familiar with the matter.”

Do you think these executives will be fired?

So, maybe back in Belgium, the bosses of InBev SA — the international corporation that owns Anheuser-Busch — aren’t happy with their American cousins these days.

It wouldn’t be hard to figure out why.

Until this month, there’s probably not an American alive — beer drinker or no beer drinker — who would have predicted that a brand as iconic as Bud Light would be getting trashed by its customer fan base. But there’s no question it was asking for it — no matter what spin Donald Trump Jr., Whoopi Goldberg or Pete Buttigieg’s “husband” might put on it.

When it decided to celebrate the deranged Mulvaney’s “365 Days of Girlhood,” it was bad enough. When it created a ceremonial can emblazoned with his face in a caricature of womanhood, it was worse.

But when video emerged of Heinerscheid explaining in a March 30 interview that she was deliberately trying to “evolve” and “elevate” Bud Light, the public’s full fury was inflamed.

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Bud Light’s “fratty, out-of-touch” image was going to go, Heinerscheid proclaimed — insulting literally generations of Americans who’d been patronizing her product.

Backlash has been building since.

A Bud Light boycott — in fact, a boycott of all Anheuser-Busch products — has cost Anheuser-Buch billions in market value.

Celebrities have gone public bashing Bud Light — sometimes with bullets.

As PR disasters go, it’s somewhere up there with New Coke — except Coca-Cola simply misjudged its customer base during that debacle four decades ago — it didn’t deliberately set out to insult and ultimately abandon it. Bud Light has that distinction on its own.

And now, a second executive who was at least nominally in charge of this obscenity is taking a “leave of absence.”

But it’s it’s not really an individual problem — however alienating talk of “elevate” and “evolve” might be. What’s clear is that Anheuser-Busch, and the rest of corporate America, don’t really understand what’s happening here.

Anheuser-Bush’s laughably lame attempts to make up to its previous base — a mealy-mouthed, lawyered-up letter from its CEO that contained no apology and evinced even less sincerity and an ad campaign that overtly pandered to patriotism while fooling no one — have done little to repair its image because they were patently fake.

Changing the warm bodies who sit in a couple of executive chairs, or replacing a sign or two on corner office doors, isn’t going to solve Bud Light’s problem — or the problems of the woke corporate culture as a whole.

Simply put, Americans are tired of having the progressive left’s woke agenda shoved down their throats — whether it’s from the Biden administration and its various open-border-transgender-climate-change lunacies or soulless corporations bent on proving how diverse, equitable and inclusive they are.

Bud Light was the one that hit the nerve this time, but it won’t be the last.

As bad as things are getting in the Bud Light offices these days, they’re not likely to be getting better anytime soon. And the rest of the woke corporate world should be watching very closely.

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Joe has spent more than 30 years as a reporter, copy editor and metro desk editor in newsrooms in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Florida. He's been with Liftable Media since 2015.
Joe has spent more than 30 years as a reporter, copy editor and metro editor in newsrooms in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Florida. He's been with Liftable Media since 2015. Largely a product of Catholic schools, who discovered Ayn Rand in college, Joe is a lifelong newspaperman who learned enough about the trade to be skeptical of every word ever written. He was also lucky enough to have a job that didn't need a printing press to do it.