While major banks downgrade Anheuser-Busch’s stock and Bud Light becomes a corporate punch line, a quartet of CEOs seem all too happy to join them. As the beer company implodes under the weight of a national boycott, their cautionary tale seems lost on four companies, who’ve decided to follow transgender advocacy straight to financial insolvency. Who are the brands foolish enough to ride Bud Light’s tattered coattails?
One of the first companies to stick out their necks for the LGBT agenda, Target was woke before woke was a word. So it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the chain who introduced a controversial line of “Love Is Love” shirts way back in 2012 was ready to board the transgender train. Back then, retail analyst Britt Beemer warned that the Target strategy isn’t “very smart,” especially in conservative states, where it does the biggest business. “Anytime a retailer gets away from doing what they should be doing by being involved in a social cause, [they lose].”
Target got a taste of that last year, when the mega-retailer — who helped launch the war on gender six years ago with its mixed-gender bathrooms and fitting rooms — decided to fill its racks with merchandise to help young people reject the biological sex God gave them. From chest binders that strap down breasts to compression underwear to hide bulges for boys, Target is taking direct aim at America’s children.
Now, the soulless company is inviting new outrage with a trans line of clothes and books. With colorful messages like “Trans people will always exist!” “Queer! Queer! Queer! Queer!” “Cure transphobia, not trans people,” and “Ask me about my pronouns,” Target is putting itself in the bullseye. There are baby bodysuits, rompers, mugs, and a collection of books that would put most moms on the warpath. “My Sister Daisy,” which is about a boy learning to how to treat his younger brother’s “gender [transition] with compassion,” is recommended for 5 to 7-year-olds, while “The Hips on the Drag Queen Go Swish, Swish, Swish” clocks in even younger (4-8).
The activist group Gays Against Groomers didn’t hold back their fury. “We hope there are enough parents out there that understand how wrong this is and show them that this garbage will not sell,” they urged their hundreds of thousands of followers. “The only thing these people understand is money. Target deserves the Bud Light treatment. We will work to put the pressure on them.”
2. Levi Strauss
Last fall, Jennifer Sey, a longtime Levi’s executive, wrote a blockbuster book about the radical undercurrent at America’s oldest jeans company called, “Levi’s Unbuttoned: The Woke Mob Took My Job But Gave Me My Voice.” Sey’s candid, behind-the-scenes tell-all made quite a splash, especially her frank assessment of upper management’s radical politics.
“Today’s executives reared these kids with an ‘I’m not your Dad, I’m your friend’ parenting philosophy, and they chase their children’s approval,” she writes. “They want to impress their woke kids with their own progressive bona fides.”
Their latest idea? A gender-neutral clothing line. CEO Chip Bergh announced the idea this month, dismissing any fears about “a Bud Light-type backlash” against the 170-year-old company. Unisex clothing, he argued, is the wave of the future in a supposedly trans-accepting society.
“We are building out slowly,” he explained to Axios. “It started with a small collection of gender-neutral or gender-fluid line, and there’s definitely consumer appetite for that,” Bergh claimed. “And we are here for that.”
Of course, this isn’t the first time Levi’s has rolled the dice on sexual politics. Its first foray into the trans market was 2017 with a collection called Line 8. Since then, they’ve only leaned harder into the fad, posting a guide to unisex shopping in 2019. (Like every other company on this list, their extremism also extends to abortion politics.)
As Sey warned, the tentacles of radicalism run deep at Levi’s — thanks in part to the younger generation of workers there, who she calls “ideological terrorists” who are “policing their peers and elders relentlessly.” Company leaders, she insists, “are unwilling to stand up to them.” “Most CEOs lack the moral courage to hold their ground,” Sey wrote. “Because they know, deep down, that they aren’t do-gooders, and they don’t want that curtain lifted.”
Anyone who’s ordered a cup from the iconic green mermaid has been fueling more than their caffeine fix — they’ve been financing the movement to trans our sons and daughters. After a divisive pronoun campaign in 2019 called #WhatsYourName, the mega-retailer one-upped America’s other woke CEOs last year by offering to ship employees’ children out of state to change their sex.
A statement from the company’s Sara Kelly announced that Starbucks is committed to the most outrageous forms of corporate activism — including paid travel for transgender surgery. “Regardless of where you live or what you believe, partners enrolled in Starbucks healthcare will now be offered reimbursement for eligible travel expenses when accessing abortion or gender-affirming procedures when those services are not available within 100 miles of a partner’s home.”
Now, a year later, Starbucks, whose philanthropic partners include an advocate for child sex-changes, is taking its campaign to mutilate children to the world.
On May 9, Starbucks India ignited a global firestorm after releasing an ad openly celebrating gender reassignment surgery. In the commercial, which has more than a million views, a mom and dad meet with their son, who now identifies as a girl, at the coffee shop. They all listen as the barista calls out a drink for “Arpita,” their son’s new name — meant to be a sign that his parents, who placed the order, accept his new female identity. “For me, you are still my kid,” the father says. “Only a letter has been added to your name,” he said, reaching out for his son’s hand.
Underneath, the Indian caption reads, “Your name defines who you are — whether it’s Arpit or Arpita. At Starbucks, we love and accept you for who you are. Because being yourself means everything to us. #ItStartsWithYourName.”
An Australian-based pundit, who’s watched Bud Light’s fall from grace, couldn’t believe Starbucks would be crazy enough to jump on the burning bandwagon. They’re going “full Bud Light,” he warned. “If saturating the market with a mediocre U.S. coffee brand wasn’t bad enough,” Rukshan Fernando tweeted, “now they are bringing their woke corporate culture to the Sub-Continent.”
Others pointed out the coffee company’s hypocrisy, since “Starbucks in Saudi [Arabia], UAE, and Qatar have been around much longer than India. Yet you will never see them place such ads there.” Then there was Indian celebrity Nuance Bro, who urged locals to walk away. “Alright India here’s your chance to resist properly. … Do not let this programming gain a foothold.”
But it’s not as if Starbucks’ agenda is a surprise. The liberal business has never truly cared about kids — not after spending thousands of dollars helping Planned Parenthood abort them — or working to deprive them of a married mom and dad. Still, if the wave of opposition to the trans agenda on both sides is any indication, something’s brewing at Starbucks — and that’s trouble.
4. Sports Illustrated
Men who pick up a copy of the 2023 swimsuit edition hoping to see actual women at the beach are in for quite a surprise with this year’s edition. Instead of a biological female on the cover, the woke magazine opted for Kim Petras, a busty man who underwent gender-transition surgery at age 16.
“I was so excited when I got the call to be in Sports Illustrated,” Petras, a German-born singer, told SI. “It’s very iconic, and a lot of very iconic people have done it before, so [it was a] big dream come true for me.” Asked about the pushback he might get, 30-year-old Petras replied, “It’s definitely a scary time to be transgender in America, but there’s also so much more representation than there’s ever been, and there’s so many things on the bright side.”
Back in 2006, the singer was considered “the world’s youngest transsexual” after he appeared on a television show describing his transition, which started with hormones at just 12 years old.
For Sports Illustrated, who’s no stranger to controversy, this isn’t the first time the magazine has pushed the envelope with a trans model. Leyna Bloom landed the cover job in 2021. Readers were irate — but the criticism obviously fell on deaf ears. “There is no theme [to this year’s issue],” Editor-in-Chief MJ Day explained this time around, “rather, there is a vision, a sentiment, a hope that women can live in a world where they feel no limitations, internally or externally.” These women share “certain common traits,” she insisted. “They’re constantly evolving.”
Evolving is one way to put it, critics lashed out. Is no space that’s historically been reserved for women — no traditions, jobs, sports, or products — sacred anymore? “The 2023 Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition cover model is a biological man with fake boobs,” Wisconsin activist Scarlett Johnson posted. “I really hope men are #Done with Sports Illustrated.” Over at Rebel News, Ezra Levant joked, “I guess the Bud Light ad wizards had to land somewhere.”
Meanwhile, consumers can’t help but wonder: who in their right mind would follow Bud Light down this fatal road? A single can with the wrong partner sent Anheuser-Busch into a nationwide tailspin — with no relief in sight. As other brands watch that five-alarm fire destroy the brand’s reputation, others are reaching for the same hot stove.
Why? Family Research Council’s Joseph Backholm believes it’s because “progressives are true believers.” “They don’t just say the key to happiness is a world in which truth is personal and everyone gets to be who they want to be. They really believe it,” he told The Washington Stand. “They believe it so strongly they’re even willing to temporarily lose money along the way.”
“There’s actually a lot for Christians to learn here,” he insisted. “Do we believe the truth as much as they believe lies?”
For conservative, freedom-loving alternatives to every leftist coffee, denim, retail, and beer company, download the Public Sq. app and reward the businesses who share your values.
Suzanne Bowdey serves as editorial director and senior writer at The Washington Stand.
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