British independent beer company Brewdog are the subject of an angry anti transphobia petition after they released a promotional video featuring their founders dressing in drag to raise money.
As part of a large campaign to raise capital to expand their popular brewing business, Brewdog founders James Watt and Martin Dickie have promised to start Brewdog bars in any town in Britain which can find 200 investors. In a viral video marketing campaign launched to coincide with the funding drive, the founders state they will “do anything” to raise the money to grow their business, but plead with the viewer not to force them into degrading acts to make up the cash.
Acts portrayed include busking, having a garage sale, and selling themselves off as cross-dressing prostitutes. After gyrating, spanking each other, and otherwise providing merriment to passers by of a red neon-lit window they remark “we would do it, but we’d want a bath afterwards”.
The amusing advertising pitch has angered some, who are calling on a boycott of Brewdog beers until they take down the video and issue an apology. Although it is not clear how many of those who signed were Brewdog customers in the first place, the petition has now attracted nearly 8,000 signatures and has the support of Britain’s Pink News special interest news site.
Clearly riled by the video, professional campaigner, former Trade Unions and Socialists Against Cuts electoral candidate, and petition website employee Beth Granter writes: “BrewDog beer company claims to be “beer for punks”. They claim to be ethical.
“Yet in their new crowdsourcing video they mock homeless people, trans women and sex workers. They say, “don’t make us do this” whilst performing as offensive caricatures of people, many of whom already suffer discrimination every day. They are mocking the lives and experiences of people who real punks would be defending and helping.
“Worse, this is a fundraising video – they’re using these images in an exploitative manner to make money.
“Sign now to tell BrewDog that they should pull their #DontMakeUsDoThis video, apologise, and give donations to relevant charities working for the rights of homeless people, trans women and sex workers.”
The company responded to the criticism last night, pointing to their previous public support for minority groups. Last year, the company released a special edition beer mocking Russian president Vladimir Putin for his tough stance on homosexuality. Co-founder James Watt said in a statement last night: “The video we created was to launch the CrowdCube aspect of Equity for Punks and was made in the spirit of fun and sending ourselves up – it’s a shame that some people have taken offence where none was intended.
“We have a history of supporting and championing the LGBT community, and will continue doing so… watch this space.”
Watch: Brewdog pleads for money
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