Country music legend Garth Brooks has sparked controversy among some of his fans after he announced that his new bar in Nashville would serve “every brand of beer”, including Bud Light, which has been boycotted by some conservatives for its partnership with a transgender influencer.
Brooks, who is the second-best-selling musical artist of all time, told Billboard that he wanted his Friends In Low Places Bar & Honky Tonk, which is set to open this summer in the South Broadway District of Nashville, to be “the Chick-fil-A of honky-tonks”.
“I want it to be a place you feel safe in, I want it to be a place where you feel like there are manners and people like one another,” he said. “And yes, we’re going to serve every brand of beer. We just are. It’s not our decision to make. Our thing is this: if you [are let] into this house, love one another. If you’re an asshole, there are plenty of other places on lower Broadway.”
Brooks’ decision to support Bud Light has angered some of his conservative audience, who have been calling for a boycott of his music and his bar on social media. The hashtag #boycottgarthbrooks has more than 30,700 views on TikTok.
“He’s making me want to go to Nashville just so I could go ahead and piss on his doorstep,” said one TikToker who opposed Brooks’ decision.
“Now I delete every Garth Brooks song from my collection. NEVER AGAIN GARTH!” tweeted Robert Cornicelli, a Republican who ran for New York’s 2nd Congressional District last year and lost.
“We don’t put up with that, you know why? We’re Americans, bro. We fight for what’s right. We fight for what’s true. We don’t cater to mental illness,” said another TikToker who opposed Bud Light and its collaboration with Dylan Mulvaney.
Mulvaney is a trans woman who has been documenting her transition on TikTok in a series called “Days of Girlhood”. She has more than 10.8 million followers and has worked with brands such as Ulta Beauty, Instacart, and Kate Spade.
She also interviewed President Biden at the White House about transgender rights and received transphobic harassment from some Republican politicians and celebrities, such as Senator Marsha Blackburn and Caitlyn Jenner.
Bud Light sent her a personalized can to celebrate her “Day 365” of becoming a woman and sponsored a contest that she promoted on Instagram.
“I think going after a trans woman that’s been doing this for like 20 years is a lot more difficult. But what is their goal?” Mulvaney said in an interview on the “Onward With Rosie O’Donnell” podcast that was released on Tuesday.
She added that she is “an easy target” because she is “still new to this”.
Brooks has been an ally to the LGBTQ community dating back to the 1990s. His 1992 song “We Shall Be Free” spoke out against homophobia and racism. In the liner notes for his album “The Chase”, Brooks called the song “easily the most controversial song I have ever done”.
“All I can say about ‘We Shall Be Free’ is that I will stand by every line of this song as long as I live. I am very proud of it,” he wrote.
Brooks has not responded to the boycott threats or the criticism from his fans. He is also launching a radio station called Sevens Radio in partnership with TuneIn this summer.
– Garth Brooks Facing Boycott Over Serving Bud Light, Insider, 6/12/2023
– Garth Brooks threatened with boycott for comments amid Bud Light, Dylan Mulvaney controversy, MSN, 6/12/2023
– Bud Light demand has ‘plummeted completely’ since Dylan Mulvaney controversy: Bartending company founder, Fox News, 6/11/2023
– ‘I don’t even know what that is’: Dylan Mulvaney video ‘confirmation’ Bud Light got it wrong, News.com.au, 6/13/2023