John Rich slams Bud Light’s reactions to controversy: ‘It’s too late for that’

John Rich, famed country singer from the band Big and Rich, is the latest celebrity to share his thoughts on the Bud Light controversy concerning their choice to do a sponsorship with trans activist Dylan Mulvaney.

Rich, who also owns the Redneck Riviera bar in Nashville, Tennessee, told Fox News Digital he “didn’t know exactly what to anticipate” when the controversy began. However, now that the beer brand has released a new ad heavily featuring American landmarks, including the spot where the Twin Towers once stood before the September 11 terrorist attacks, he has some thoughts.

“Well, it looks like they’ve come out with this pro-America, patriotic old school Budweiser looking ad with the Clydesdales and the red, white and blue and all that,” Rich said. 

“Well, a little late for that. You know, the American public. We’re never left alone anymore. We literally can’t go anywhere without something divisive or political being thrown into our face. And I think when they went after the beer can, you know, something that people have loved for decades. You know, Bud Light, Coors Light, that’s kind of like Ford and Chevy.”


“You’ve got people that have had brand loyalty to Bud Light forever, you know, since they’ve been drinking beer,” he continued. “That’s what they drink. And they feel betrayed by it and they just can’t believe that now when they’re sitting down to relax and have a beer, at the end of the day, now it’s in their face again. And I think they’ve just had enough of it.”

Rich said he wasn’t personally upset by Bud Light’s choice to use a trans sponsor saying,”It’s perfectly within their rights to market their product however they want to,” and he knew there were several people involved in the decision to go with this marketing campaign.

“I wasn’t upset that they did it,” he said, “but I thought, ‘Wow, I don’t think that’s going to turn out like they thought.’ And of course, now you look up and I think Bud, like this morning is approaching $7 billion in revenue lost already. I mean, it’s pretty incredible.”

He brought up his own brand of whiskey, also called Redneck Riviera. He acknowledged it’s a much smaller operation than Bud Light, adding “we’re never going to throw some curve ball at you that goes outside of what the brand itself is all about.”


Rich also stated that he thinks this is a controversy that will stick with Bud Light for a long time.

“I said the other day to a buddy of mine, can you imagine? Tell me if you think this will ever happen again. A bunch of guys sitting at a NASCAR race and the waitress comes up and says, ‘Hey, guys, can I get you something?’ ‘Yeah, we’ll take a round of Bud Lights,’ you think that will ever happen again? It won’t. It will not happen. 

“I mean, I think this one sticks. I think people have just had enough of it. It’s like a bullhorn in your face all the time with all of these subjects and all of these divisive, divisive topics that have now bled into what is supposed to be our laid back time, our easy going time.”

For Rich, as a bar owner, it all comes down to what the customers want, and he thinks customers won’t want anything to do with the brand for a long time.

“The customers aren’t going to order it,” he explained, speaking specifically of his own bar. “I’m not going to stock it. We’ve only got limited area. I’ve got a limited bar. It’s like I got to put I’ve got to put beer and whiskey and vodkas up here that people want to purchase and they want to support. 

“And brother, I can tell you right now it is a vicious attitude toward Bud Light. They just said, ‘You know what? Enough.’ And I think people feel like their voices these days aren’t heard very well. We’ve learned about the censorship on social media. We all know that’s real. And people get squelched out all the time. So they think, well, they’re never going to listen to me, but maybe they’ll listen to my dollars not coming in. I’ll just stop spending my dollars on it. And boy, howdy, they’ve heard that message.”

If his customers did start asking for Bud Light again, Rich said he’d call up his distributor and ask for a delivery, but he just doesn’t see that happening anytime soon.

“I don’t know how they ever fix it or even if it is fixable,” he said.


Rich also spoke about his friend Kid Rock and his decision to shoot up cans of the now-controversial beer brand with a rifle.

“I think he probably felt the same way as a lot of people, which is ‘You got to be kidding me. It’s now on my beer… I have to pick up my beer and what is going on? Stay out of my life.’ And I think people have just had enough of it.

“I think that was kind of a red line moment for a lot of people. And they said, again, ‘They’re not going to listen to us. Politicians don’t listen to us, or our voices are shut down on social media. I’ll just stop spending my money’… Listen, the country’s divided on most issues, but it’s still a big country. Fifty percent of the country is enough to sink you. You know, I mean, just make a great product and be simple about it and you’ll probably be just fine, but we’ll see how that plays out. I’m curious how brands do this in the future.”

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