In the 2023 Toronto Pride parade, which was heavily promoted by Bud Light, fully naked men cycling and standing around in public view have raised questions about the appropriateness of such displays, especially in the presence of children.
Captured in footage by Beth Baisch of The Post Millennial, a group of naked men on bikes and in a crowd were visible, interacting with the spectators, including children. She quoted, “The fully naked bikers, some covered in paint or tattoos, wave back at the crowd. One naked man high-fives an onlooker while another pedals a recumbent bike with a gold blow-up swan adorned around his neck.”
At the parade, Bud Light’s branding was prominently displayed, including on scantily clad dancers on a stage, and the company reaffirmed their 10-year-long sponsorship of the event on their website. “Bud Light Canada has been a proud partner of Pride Toronto for the last 10 years. This year, we’re commemorating this milestone with Pride Toronto by featuring them on our can design, as well as continuing as the official beer sponsor of the festival,” the statement read.
Earlier, Bud Light had faced backlash for its association with trans activist Dylan Mulvaney, causing a significant decrease in sales and a considerable loss in market value. In response to this backlash, Anheuser-Busch CEO Brendan Whitworth released a statement, expressing, “We never intended to be part of a discussion that divides people. We are in the business of bringing people together over a beer. As CEO of Anheuser-Busch, I am focused on building and protecting our remarkable history and heritage.”
However, these controversies have not deterred Bud Light from supporting other events like the “all-ages Pride event” in Flagstaff, Arizona, called “Pride in the Pines”. Bud Light’s sponsorship of these events signals their ongoing commitment to supporting the LGBTQ+ community, including a $100,000 pledge to LGBTQ+ groups in Canada.