Dylan Mulvaney has addressed the anti-trans backlash she’s been facing after announcing her partnership with a few different brands.
The TikTok star opened up about being a member of the transgender community and some of the scrutiny she’s faced during Tuesday’s episode of iHeartRadio’s Onward with Rosie O’Donnell podcast. Her comments came as online trolls have been criticising Nike and Bud Light for choosing her to be their ambassador.
Mulvaney talked to host Rosie O’Donnell about the ongoing attacks towards transgender people in the US and her own transition before sharing why she believes she’s been hit with a lot of criticism.
“The reason that I think I am so…I’m an easy target is because I’m so new to this,” Mulvaney said. “I think going after a trans woman that’s been doing this for like 20 years is a lot more difficult. I think maybe they think that there’s some sort of chance with me…But what is their goal?”
Although she didn’t mention anyone by name, Mulvaney said she doesn’t let people’s online comments get to her but that the backlash is a sign that things need to change.
“I’m not worried about the people talking about me on their podcasts, I’m worried about their listeners,” she added. “And I also think that, it’s just a heavy time. And it’s time to step up, for sure.”
On 1 April, Mulvaney first shared her promotional video for Bud Light on Instagram where she was dressed up as Audrey Hepburn and drank the beer. Days later, she shared a photo of herself in a Nike crop top and leggings and announced her partnership with the athletic clothing brand.
Days later, trolls commented on Mulvaney’s posts and criticised the two companies, claiming that the brands shouldn’t endorse a trans woman. Following the TikTok star’s announcement, Kid Rock also critcised Bud Light and shared a video on Twitter himself shooting a rifle at a case of the brand’s beers.
In her podcast, O’Donnell criticised Rock for this decision before defending the transgender community.
“Beer companies have been supportive of the LGBTQIA community for decades. This is not the first time. Who do you think sponsors pride? Gay people, trans people, we drink beer too man. Put down your gun, Kid Rock, it’s in bad taste,” she said.
Amid the backlash, Nike has spoken out about creating a positive community and told its followers that any hateful comments on its post would be deleted.
“You are an essential component to the success of your community! We welcome comments that contribute to a positive and constructive discussion,” the brand wrote this week, in the pinned comment of its post. “Be kind.. Be inclusive…Encourage each other…Hate speech, bullying, or other behaviours that are not in the spirit of a diverse and inclusive community will be deleted.”
Mulvaney seemingly refeerenced the online hate last week on Instagram with a video where she sang the song “No One Is Alone” from Into the Woods.
“It’s hard to see the light now, just don’t let it go,” she wrote in the caption, referring to a lyric in the tune. “This song felt fitting for the week I’ve been having. All is well! Cheers.”