In a recent interview with Fox News Digital, country music artist John Rich expressed his disapproval of what he refers to as “woke culture.” Rich, who co-owns a Nashville bar and whiskey brand called Redneck Riviera, made headlines when he decided to remove Bud Light from his establishment. This decision was prompted by a marketing campaign that Bud Light conducted with transgender TikTok star Dylan Mulvaney. Rich believed that the promotion turned beer into a “political social issue,” which did not sit well with his customers.
Following the removal of Bud Light, sales of the brand plummeted to zero in Rich’s bar. This drop in sales could potentially reflect a broader sentiment among Americans who are tired of cultural and political issues infiltrating every aspect of their lives. Polls have indicated that a significant majority, approximately 82% of Americans, believe that the country is on the wrong path.
John Rich emphasized that the values championed by his Redneck Riviera brand, such as “God, family, country,” and “hard work,” resonate with most Americans irrespective of their political beliefs. The success of Redneck Riviera whiskey further demonstrates a positive response to the brand’s messaging and values.
In light of fellow country musician Garth Brooks’ decision to continue selling Bud Light at his Nashville bar, John Rich expressed that he respects Brooks’ choice and wishes him the best. He speculated that Brooks’ decision might be driven by a desire to contribute to healing the nation’s divisions.
The Bud Light controversy arose when the company sent Dylan Mulvaney a customized pack of beer featuring his likeness as part of their March Madness contest advertisement. John Rich’s removal of Bud Light from his bar and his subsequent comments shed light on the ongoing debate surrounding corporate advertising and political messaging.
The critique that John Rich has voiced towards “woke culture” and his decision to remove Bud Light from his bar highlight the existing tensions surrounding political and cultural issues within the entertainment industry and public discourse in general.