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Anheuser-Busch CEO's vanilla statement amid Bud Light transgender controversy promptly called out for lack of substance

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As Anheuser-Busch faces backlash over its move to enlist a man who identifies as a transgender woman to advertise Bud Light beer, CEO Brendan Whitworth issued a statement on Friday that did not directly address the controversial move that has ignited a groundswell of negative consumer sentiment toward the company.

"As the CEO of a company founded in America’s heartland more than 165 years ago, I am responsible for ensuring every consumer feels proud of the beer we brew," Whitworth said in the statement. "We're honored to be part of the fabric of this country. Anheuser-Busch employs more than 18,000 people and our independent distributors employ an additional 47,000 valued colleagues. We have thousands of partners, millions of fans and a proud history supporting our communities, military, first responders, sports fans and hard-working Americans everywhere.

"We never intended to be part of a discussion that divides people. We are in the business of bringing people together over a beer," he noted. "My time serving this country taught me the importance of accountability and the values upon which America was founded: freedom, hard work and respect for one another. As CEO of Anheuser-Busch, I am focused on building and protecting our remarkable history and heritage.

"I care deeply about this country, this company, our brands and our partners. I spend much of my time traveling across America, listening to and learning from our customers, distributors and others," Whitworth added. "Moving forward, I will continue to work tirelessly to bring great beers to consumers across our nation."

Conservative commentator Matt Walsh of the Daily Wire pointed out that the company's statement will not please people on either side of the issue.

"Anheuser Busch has finally released a statement, and it’s just as clumsy and stupid as the marketing stunt that got them into this mess in the first place," Walsh tweeted. "The statement won't satisfy their conservative customers because there is no apology or acknowledgment of wrong. And it won't satisfy the Left because it doesn’t affirm transgenderism and admits at least (without using the word) that the trans issue 'divides people,'" Walsh wrote.

Daily Wire editor emeritus Ben Shapiro noted that the statement failed to deal with the issue: "Anheiser-Busch [sic] CEO has now released a statement in which he addresses zero of the problems with hiring a man cosplaying as a woman to sell cheap beer to a predominantly male audience."

Megyn Kelly, who describes herself on Twitter as a journalist, succinctly summed up the situation by tweeting, "Another FAIL."

Some pointed out the lack of substance in the statement, suggesting that it said "nothing."

Jake Schneider of the Republican National Committee described the statement as "200 words of nothing."

"Such mealy-mouthed nothingness. If the CEO thing doesn’t work out, he could be a law school dean," tweeted Ilya Shapiro, senior fellow and director of constitutional studies at the Manhattan Institute.

"I've never seen so many words to say literally nothing at all," tweeted YouTuber Brian Tyler Cohen, who describes himself as "progressive."

"This is the most corporatized corporate statement I've ever read. Says nothing, means nothing, and just makes the conservatives raging about how Bud Light has gone trans dig in their heels even more," tweeted Justin Baragona of the Daily Beast.

The controversy erupted earlier this month after Dylan Mulvaney posted content on social media promoting Bud Light — in the video, Mulvaney noted that Bud Light had sent him a can with his likeness on it.

"Anheuser-Busch works with hundreds of influencers across our brands as one of many ways to authentically connect with audiences across various demographics and passion points. From time to time we produce unique commemorative cans for fans and for brand influencers, like Dylan Mulvaney. This commemorative can was a gift to celebrate a personal milestone and is not for sale to the general public," an Anheuser-Busch spokesperson told Fox News Digital earlier this month.

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